The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), through its Older Adults Work Group, has approved an $8,000 grant to enable the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce to create a Leadership Program for older adults in Winter Park.
It will be patterned after the Chamber’s successful Leadership Winter Park program which has been offered for 20 years. This program offers a behind the scenes look at issues and challenges facing Winter Park. The Chamber also offers a Youth Leaders program.
The pilot program for older adults will be tested twice, once in the fall and once in the spring. Feedback gathered from participants will help shape the content and format for future sessions, in the hopes that lessons learned will lead to a successful and sustainable program that fits well with the existing Leadership Winter Park and Youth Leaders programs.
A planning group of volunteers from the Chamber, the Winter Park Towers, the Mayflower, Rollins College, the City of Winter Park, Orlando Health and others, have selected highlights from the existing Leadership Winter Park curriculum, and made other revisions to make the experience more meaningful to older adults. The pilot program will be shorter than the existing program and it will take into consideration mobility restrictions of older adults.
Similar programs conducted elsewhere in the country have encouraged lifelong learning (participants learn about the major elements and institutions in their community), engaged older adults in further civic participation (volunteering, voting, etc.) and provided socialization opportunities that have enhanced each participant’s sense of purpose and overall health and well-being.