The very first Storied Lives program started in 2012 at West Morris Mendham High School. The program includes 10-15 high school students each year and is conducted over the summer at Morris Hills Center in Morristown, NJ.
Peter, a father of three, currently works at West Morris Mendham High School, where he teaches English. He has been the Program Advisor for Storied Lives since 2013. Peter graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees in literature from Seton Hall University and with his doctorate from Drew University.
Started in 2014, the program includes approximately 10 Mother Seton Regional High School students and is conducted during the spring at Sunrise Senior Living in Westfield, NJ. Read about the Westfield program in the news and meet the founding program leader Alyssa Ziobro being interviewed along with Storied Lives co-Founders.
Natalie, an English teacher for over ten years, has been the Mother Seton Regional High School Program Advisor for Storied Lives since 2014. A wife and mother of two boys, Natalie has previously taught English in Gdansk, Poland, as well as worked at Toronto Dominion Bank. She received her BA in English and Journalism from Rutgers University and her Master’s of Arts in Teaching from Saint Peter’s University.
Piloted in Summer 2015, the program has now become an integrated part of the curriculum of the AP English Language class at Fountain Hills High School. Approximately 15 students pair up with residents at Fountain View Village senior lifestyle community. Listen to a radio broadcast that aired on channel KJZZ about the Storied Lives program in Fountain Hills.
Dawn grew up in Minnesota and began her English teaching career there after graduating from St. Cloud State University. She and her family relocated to Arizona in 1986, where she began teaching in Fountain Hills. When Fountain Hills HS opened in 1992, Dawn came on board and has been teaching there since. She has been the Program Advisor for the Storied Lives program since May 2015.
The Scottsdale Program was started in 2016 as a Girl Scouts project by Maddie O’Rourke to earn her Gold Award. It pairs students from Desert Mountain High School with seniors at Belmont Village Senior Living Scottsdale. Watch the inspiring story of how Maddie founded this Storied Lives Scottsdale and what it means to the community.
Sarah is the Activity Program Coordinator for Belmont Village Senior Living in Scottsdale and has been working at this wonderful facility since 2012. Sarah earned degrees in Health Care Administration and Culinary Arts from Paradise Valley Community College and Estrella Mountain Community College.
The Wyong program was started in 2017 on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia and is the first program outside of the United States. It was founded by Cecily Briggs who was interested in honoring the lives of senior parishioners in her church. She initiated a partnership with St. Peter’s Catholic College of Tuggerah Lakes, a faith-based school for Years 7-12. The program ran for over six months, with multiple students working on a long-form story for each senior parishioner.
Cecily is a retired teacher and member of the Social Justice Committee of the Wyong Catholic Parish. Cecily is interested in establishing intergenerational connections and in ensuring that all involved can enjoy and benefit from new experiences and the assurance that they are a welcome part of the Wyong Catholic community.
Storied Lives Park Ridge was born in Spring 2017 and is the brainchild of Stephanie Buckley, a teacher at Park Ridge High School. As part of Stephanie’s Public Speaking class, students are paired with the members of the Public Speaking Golden Age Social Club of Park Ridge. Due to the interest in the program, in some cases multiple students pair with one senior, but tell different stories about their life. The President of the Social Club, William Hennig, expressed appreciation by saying “Each story helped you to experience a part of the story teller’s life at a different time and in some cases a different country. I felt honored to be invited to participate in the Storied Lives Program.” Watch a brief inspirational video about the Park Ridge program.
The Thousand Oaks Program was started in 2017 as a 20% Capstone Project by LaReina High School student Bridget Aamoth. Bridget found an eager partner in Belmont Village Senor Living Thousand Oaks, whose Activity Program Coordinator Megan Ashworth had heard about Storied Lives from a colleague at Belmont Village Scottsdale. Thousand Oaks was the first program to feature a pairing of student and resident in a non-English language (French.)