As I shared in our September newsletter, resilience is a theme and skill I’ve been revisiting a lot these days. It’s a skill that I, like many of you, learned from those who came before me and have honed and strengthened over the years. This learning starts at a young age and this got me thinking about how
young families are making things work this year. From on-line schooling to working from home and social isolation, their lives are anything but straightforward.
These thoughts led me to find ways that I can help and brought me to a great new program called Eldera, which was recently featured in the The Atlantic Magazine. Eldera is a global platform for wisdom sharing and intergenerational connection. Their core service matches kids with vetted mentors (with at least six decades of life experience) for virtual story time, help with school work or just a friendly conversation. This service is built into a private community that includes cultural and educational events and resources for shared learning, growth, and connection. Everything at Eldera is built on the belief that the wisdom of our elders – with decades of experience, knowledge, love, loss and common sense – is the most valuable resource we can share with the younger generation to help them grow beyond their electronic tools and imagine a better future for all.
I am fascinated by what Eldera has accomplished already through virtual conversations. It appears that real connections across generations are happening with people from Alabama to Australia, North Carolina to South Korea, Colorado to China, and New York to Brazil. Just this month, a 12 year old boy from South Korea with the help of his mentor in Chicago, published his first book “Beautiful Theorems that Changed Math” now available on Amazon and all profits are given to a pediatric cancer organization. Two people, on two different continents, born almost 60 years apart met on Eldera during COVID and now both of their lives are changed forever.
I decided to volunteer as an Eldera mentor so I can learn from this experience. This week, I had my first meeting with my Eldera mentee, a delightful 6-year old who is navigating the world of remote learning in a new country. She and her family have settled in Southern California from Korea. I enjoyed our virtual meeting very much, and now, we’re set for a 30 minute virtual call every week. I’m excited to read books that my sons enjoyed when they were her age. And she has promised to read me her favorite Pete the Cat stories!
Since their launch in March 2020, Eldera has become the first intergenerational community, with members across 17 countries and growing. I’ve invited one of the founders to be our featured speaker early in 2021. Please look for a webinar invitation in December. Until then, you have my best wishes for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.