Column: First Class of City’s Senior Academy

Column: First Class of City’s Senior Academy

Senior Services of Alexandria

The 2015 Senior Academy Class graduating at City Hall.

The 2015 Senior Academy Class graduating at City Hall. Photo Contributed

The Oct. 13 City Council meeting began with a wonderful ceremony led by Mayor Bill Euille as he and members of the City Council paid tribute to the first graduating class of the Senior Academy. The mayor told the enthusiastic graduates that they were charged to be ambassadors to their communities and encouraged them to get involved.

The Senior Academy, sponsored by the City of Alexandria and Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA), is a four-week class providing seniors an opportunity to gain exposure to city government functions and to learn about the many organizations that provide programs and services for seniors. SSA and the City’s Call-Click-Connect office worked closely together to provide a great overview for the participants, who attended classes in City Hall, Charles Houston Recreation Center, Police Headquarters and Beatley Central Library. Class attendees heard from city offices and local non-profits about everything from how to participate in the annual budget process to what senior fitness programs are available around the City.

There was great feedback from the participants, and one of the graduates commented that “she has lived in Alexandria her whole life and didn’t know how much the city has to offer everyone — particularly seniors.” Everyone agreed that Alexandria is a great place for older residents.

Volunteerism was also emphasized, and attendees received a list of volunteer opportunities with different city organizations including the Office of Voter Registration, the Alexandria Library, Historic Alexandria, and the many Boards and Commissions in our City. Local non-profits, including At Home in Alexandria, ACHSO, ACT for Alexandria, Rebuilding Together Alexandria, and Senior Services of Alexandria also emphasized the importance of senior volunteers helping those in need.

Plans are already underway for the next Senior Academy, which will take place in 2016. In the meantime, you can find out more about how to get involved on the SSA website: Your community needs you.