College students in unique program lifting spirits of elderly neighbors


WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– In a unique program each year, two Quinnipiac University students live at Masonicare in Wallingford.

Socialization and interaction is key to the program so during these times of distancing both the students and the senior citizens miss one another tremendously. The students decided to start making personalized cards and activity kits for their older neighbors, to spread cheer.

Graduate students Michelle Zubko and Julia Kowal, who is from Bolton, each have their own apartments at Masonicare. And as part of the “Students-in-Residence” program, they provide eight hours of interaction a week with the residents, which they are now missing.

“I miss being able to get close to everybody, at dinner, at happy hour and bingo, just being able to bring the whole community together in one room,” says Kowal.

“We’re trying to bring the same energy and positivity to the residents that we did prior, we’re just modifying our activities to be more socially appropriate for the time being,” says Zubko.

They are proud to be spreading some safe positivity in times of uncertainty. The girls have even chosen to stay at Masonicare while taking their online graduate courses.

They say they feel safe and comfortable and of course, right at home.

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