Chicago student helps teens connect with senior citizens

What do high school students and retirees have in common? A lot actually. 

In today's Good News Guarantee, an organization that started out as a way to combat loneliness for seniors during COVID has grown nationwide thanks to a Chicago teen. 

"When all of the COVID shutdowns began … In the news there were all these articles coming out, seniors at care facilities restricted to like five square feet of space and not able see people smile because they were wearing masks.  At that time, I was doing a lot of Facetime with my grandparents and it was kind of a time of realizing I had a lot of time on my hands and how connecting with them virtually was difficult but it still was really meaningiful," said Maya Joshi, the founder of Lifting Hearts with the Arts. 

Maya's organization paired teens with senior citizens virtually and in-person, connecting them through art projects.

Now, a dozen residents at the new Clarendale Six Corners in Portage Park are participating in the program with students from Lane Tech High School.  

"It means more that you're interacting with generations that you may not be seeing day-to-day in the first place. A lot of them tell me that the most interaction they have with other generations is their grandkids and this creates that conversation between different groups of people that you normally would never have," Maya said. 

Maya's goal is to expand the free after-school curriculum to other CPS schools.