Inspiring Opportunities Free E-Newsletter
Library Programs Lure Boomers
Libraries throughout the country are realizing that older adults are fast becoming the majority of potential users. In fact, by 2014, about 65 percent of U.S. library patrons will be 50 to 75 years old. So, its time to figure out what will keep the boomers coming back to the stacks. This article suggests a wide range of services being offered. Locally, the Free Library of Philadelphia has established a designated Senior Services area in its Central Branch and has established a Speaker's Series that is gaining a following. To learn more, click here.
Woody Allen Films: A Magical Misery Tour
At once prolific and profound, at times unnerving and uneven, Woody Allen's films lead to lots of interesting conversation and agreement on one point: no other filmmaker has spun so much cinematic gold from his own neuroses. Join this four-session program (10 a.m-1 p.m. on March 23, 30, April 6, and 13th at the Gershman Y (401 S. Broad St., Philadelphia) with Andrew Douglas, Education Director at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. The course will take you on a journey through Allen's forty-year career, with stops to view his paradigm-shifting Annie Hall (1977) to a look at his "comeback" film, Match Point (2005.) $125. To register, call (610) 527-4008 x107 or click here.
Keep Learning, Keep Working
This article speaks persuasively about the need for people to be lifelong learners. In fact, the author feels that it may be the most important personal trait any individual can have. What does it mean to be a life long learner? Most importantly, recognizing the need to keep your skills and knowledge current and marketable. With the many changes in the economy, in technology, and possible ageism in hiring, the motto is "change or die." To find out more, click here.
Holy Enrollers: Boomers as Divinity Students
Boomers are the fastest-growing demographic at U.S. divinity schools, according to the Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
. The under-30 crowd may still be the largest cohort of students, but the 50 and older group has grown from 12% of students in 1995 to 20% in 2009. Are boomers finding religion? Or are there other reasons for this encore career choice? By the way, this article
is written by Melba Newsome
, the nationally-recognized author of "Work Gives Meaning to Life," a chapter in the new Coming of Age
e-book, The Age for Change
Are You a Young or Old Boomer?
Call it a generation gap within the same generation. The Baby Boom stretched over 19 calendar years, from 1946 through 1964 -- enough time for the first and last Boomers to have lived through dramatically different experiences. The older crowd, coming of age in the fifties, remembers JFK's assassination, Martin Luther King's speeches and the Vietnam War; the younger crowd relates to hip hop, The Clash, and starting their driving career in gas lines. To better understand the differences...socially, demographically, educationally, and in other areas, click here.
People age 50+, those still working and those retired, are seeking out courses at their local community colleges for a lot of reasons...to pursue encore careers, leisure-time interests, learn new skills. Many community colleges have been aggressively expanding their courses for this age group, including developing more user-friendly ways for people to re-enter higher education after decades away from the classroom. This U.S. News and World Report article provides some data on the kinds of programs that community colleges are offering and a check-list of what to look for when considering signing up.
The ecologically-minded among us will want to check out Gray Is Green, the go-to organization for people over age 65 who are interested in conserving our planet's natural resources. Through the National Senior Conservation Corps (NSCC), the vision has expanded from greening retirement homes to engaging interested people in the fight against global climate change.
This New York Times article urges you to talk to your parents about their lives before it is too late... and suggests techniques taken from the book, “How to Live: A Search for Wisdom From Old People," by Henry Alford, about how to get the most out of your conversations. While most parents won't be eloquent in describing their past, Alford believes that all older people are "repositories of wisdom" and "keepers of the wisdom." Perhaps you will have some "elderisms" to share with our readers after your interviews!
The bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
, signed by President Obama on April 21st, makes national service accessible and inviting for millions who have finished their midlife careers. It recognizes the difficulty of midlife career transition and creates an innovative policy -- "encore fellowships" -- that will provide people 55 and older access to one-year management or leadership positions in preparation for jobs in the public and nonprofit sectors. A great encore opportunity
Fifty+ learning opportunities abound. Learn how to choose the right learning opportunity for you!