Human Services Students Benefit from Wisdom of Local Residents

On November 10, East Hartford residents Fran Jones and Walter Kelso were guest speakers for Goodwin College’s Issues in Gerontology and Intro to Counseling classes. Jones and Kelso remember when the Riverside Drive campus was nothing more than blighted brownfield and they were impressed with the beauty of the buildings, landscaping, and the friendliness of the Goodwin Community.

Jones, 86, and Kelso, 94, are remarkable examples of healthy aging. They met at a bereavement support group facilitated by Goodwin Human Services faculty member Karen Carney several years ago after they each had lost their spouse, and they became very good friends.

They shared with the Goodwin students some of the stories of their lives and how they have managed to survive — and thrive — during difficult times.

Jones gets up at 3:15 a.m. at least three days per week to go to the gym for a “spinning” workout. Walter is the “social planner” of the duo and finds fun things to do each day. In the face of struggles and challenges, they told the students, focus on the positive things in life and be thankful for family, friends, and good health. They said that they spend time each evening thinking positively and giving thanks. What a great message for this season of Thanksgiving!

These classes are another wonderful example of Goodwin reaching out to its friends and neighbors in the community for knowledge and life-lessons that our students can use to benefit others as the advance in their careers.