I knew from a very early age I wanted a career where I could help others. While I went to college with the goal of working with young children and families, a human development and family studies course began the discussion about the benefits of working in senior living and I had a lightbulb moment: I was meant to work with older adults. I began searching for opportunities to learn more about the industry, and eventually began working as an activities volunteer and dining assistant during my summer and holiday breaks. I was able to secure an internship at a local continuing care retirement community during the summer of my junior year and, from the first day of my internship, I knew that working in senior living was the right fit for me.

LeadingAge PA recognizes the importance of internships and how they can transform a student’s career trajectory. In a dedicated effort to help members offer these opportunities to the next generation of leaders, LeadingAge PA instituted the Higher Education Internship Grant. In 2021, LeadingAge PA awarded eight communities grants of $6,000 each to host interns who are studying risk management, human resources, recreational therapy, and beyond. 

To better align with the academic calendar, and give our members the best opportunity to secure quality interns, we moved the grant window to early summer. The new timeframe will allow those who are awarded the grant to begin advertising and interviewing interns as early as November, when many students start the process of looking for a summer internship.

In addition to offering grants to give students the opportunity to learn more about senior living, LeadingAge PA has also revitalized our Administrator-in-Training Grant. The $50,000 grant, awarded every other year, will be offered to a community who will host a nursing home administrator-in-training (AIT).  Often, creating a temporary position such as an AIT can be a significant cost to our members. It is our hope that this grant will allow any qualifying member to host an AIT candidate and offer a quality training experience, leading to more great nursing home administrators across the commonwealth.

We are so excited to offer these opportunities to our members, and see the ripple effect that immersing individuals with positive experiences in long-term care can have on our industry. Keep an eye out for the Administrator in Training Grant and Higher Education Internship Grants opening later this month, and be sure to complete an application to take advantage of these great opportunities!

For questions about the Administrator-in-Training Grant or the Higher Education Internship Grants, please reach out to Erin McDermott, manager of workforce initiatives.