Elders teach youth 10 lessons for living

 Heidi Feltz, PRYDE 4-H Work Team

Heidi Feltz, PRYDE 4-H Work Team

Niagara County youth have participated in The Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT) project, one of the main PRYDE research projects, for the past few years.  The experience of participating in this research project is invaluable.

BCLT is an intergenerational research program on wisdom and advice given by elders to young people.  The goal of this program is to pass down the wisdom of older Americans on how to live happy and successful lives to younger generations.

In addition to learning about their elders and engaging in a community experience, this program exposed Niagara County youth to social science methods, including interviewing skills, interpreting survey information, and presenting data.

We have completed the program with honor students at a local high school and with a group of Niagara County 4-H members.  Both groups had a positive learning experience.  The youth worked together to develop interview questions, and then interviewed the elders at a local Elder Day Community Center.  Then with help from 4-H educators, youth gathered the information from the interviews and developed the 10 Lessons for Living:

  1. Be optimistic.
  2. Do not stress over the little things.
  3. Be active throughout your life.
  4. Live for today!
  5. Be open-minded.
  6. Love yourself and others fully.
  7. Be patient with others.
  8. Dedicate yourself to the relationships you have.
  9. Learn to compromise.
  10. Be yourself, do what makes you happy.

Collaborating with campus researchers at Cornell’s College of Human Ecology has left an impact on the youth who participated that will last a lifetime.  I highly recommend participating in research projects with youth in your county.

I myself feel privileged to be part of the PRYDE 4-H Work Team and have learned so much about research and youth development to make me a better educator in my county.  I love feeling connected to Cornell!

Heid FeltzComment