College Course Points Freetown Student in New Life Direction
October 05, 2011
by John Gracia
New Bedford Standard Times
The course of Randy Jose's life changed when he took an intro to gerontology class during his sophomore year at Stonehill College in Easton.
Over the course of the semester, Jose realized that he wanted to pursue a career in assisted living care.
"It really struck home for me," the Assonet resident said.
The 22-year-old Jose said such a career would allow him to show his appreciation for previous generations. He added that the elderly have plenty to teach today's youth, particularly the values of gratitude and hard work, which he said many of the senior citizens he has interacted with have emphasized.
"There's so much knowledge that seniors have that we could really learn from," he said.
This summer, he interned for Northbridge Assisted Living Communities. During the internship, which ran from May 24 to Aug. 19, he worked at three of the company's communities, which included Avita of Needham, Autumn Glen in Dartmouth, and Stafford Hill in Plymouth.
At first, Jose's duties consisted of shadowing employees. Eventually, he was entrusted with working on projects, such as the development of an employee orientation. He took part in meetings, and even worked with the company's director of operations Shawn Bertram. "It was a different experience every day," he said.
He said he was happy with the level of trust the company placed in him. "I can't think of a better place to work, honestly," he said.
Jose befriended many of the residents within these communities. He noted that they were pleased to have someone from his generation spend time with them.
"They really just want someone to talk to," he said.
Though he said the interactions were very rewarding, they were also sometimes painful.
During his internship, a resident with whom he had grown close died. "It was a shock," he said. "I really enjoyed his company."
Now back at Stonehill, Jose said he hopes to continue his involvement with Northbridge, helping in whatever capacity he can.
He added that he would like to keep in touch with some of the residents. "I'll probably end up visiting them," he said.
Jose, a member of the class of 2012 at Stonehill, hopes to eventually become an administrator of an assisted living community and believes the internships will definitely help him.
"I feel totally confident and ready to embark on my journey when I graduate next year," he said.
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