When Sages Meet Seekers

What happens when teens include older people in their lives and vice versa. Meet Sages & Seekers, an intergenerational program designed to confront social isolation and dissolve age-related segregation. Its purpose also meets the universal need of both young adults and elders to get to know each other through conversation achieved when high touch programs ignite authentic one-on-one dialogue. This award-winning, eight-week program, called Sages & Seekers, occurs in schools, in senior facilities, and in libraries on both coasts. In Los Angeles, this program is active in high schools and community senior centers.

Meet Elly Katz, the Founder and Executive Director of Sages & Seekers. Trained as a graphic designer, she now impacts age equality and intergenerational friendships. Elly has spoken with senior center activity directors, professors of gerontology, and public school educators to design a successful and popular program linking generations.

The first half of this eight week program comprises sessions to get acquainted, participate in a speed-dating activity where mentors and mentees choose each other. During interim weeks interviews are conducted, social events are scheduled, writing projects emerge and relationships grow deeper. The culmination is a presentation in which each mentee shares highlights of the experience in a public speaking format.

Elly Katz launched this program in Boston and has presented at the Massachusetts Council on Aging (MCOA). In Los Angeles she expanded the concept to local public schools. In addition, she has spoken at the Southern California Association of Activity Professionals (SCAAP) and the American Society on Aging (ASA) conferences, discussing the profound value for older adults to connect with younger generations. Elly Katz can be reached at ekatz@sagesandseekers.org.