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What about AmeriCorps and/or Peace Corps?

Could the AmeriCorps and/or Peace Corps programs be leveraged creatively to foster intergenerational connections both in the U.S. and abroad?

Photo of Jennifer Wood
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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

Offer intergenerational mentor projects and training as part of AmeriCorps and/or Peace Corps service.
Has anyone posted ideas on how to use AmeriCorps or Peace Corps networks & programs to promote intergenerational mentoring? Both organizations have access to the age group of volunteers we're looking for and can match qualified volunters with the right programs.

Projects could focus solely on intergenerational mentoring or incorporate an aspect of intergenerational mentoring into already existing programs. This could work for domestic programs in the U.S. and international projects abroad. An effort in collaboration! 

This idea reminds me of the concept of teaching grandmothers in India at Barefoot College: http://www.barefootcollege.org  And corresponding TED talk:  https://www.ted.com/talks/bunker_roy

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to test any assumptions you might have about your idea?

My initial impulse is to get in touch with both organizations and find out if they're doing anything like this. If yes, can we connect to discuss cooperation? If not, could we run a pilot program and test the idea?

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input, skills or know-how of our OpenIDEO community?

Are there any former AmeriCorps volunteers out there who might comment on if this would be realistic within the organization? Any returned Peace Corps volunteers who might comment on the viability?

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Photo of Alaine Newland
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Jennifer, I love this idea, especially because you make a great point that there's already a great database of volunteers in the age group that you could tap from. It might also be interesting to find older adults who have participated in Peace Corp and Americorp at some time and connect them with young people who are currently volunteering or are considering a volunteering experience. What might a mentoring experience look like in that dynamic?

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Photo of Jennifer Wood
Team

Thanks, Alaine. It seems that PC would be the more likely org, as AmeriCorps is still relatively young. Either way, both organizations are likely to have similar values, motivation and great people that would create a positive intergenerational mentoring experience. The sky's the limit!

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