The Spires at Berry College: Seniors and Students Connect
The Spires Senior Living Community is uniquely situated on the Berry College campus in Rome, Georgia, providing both residents and students with incredible opportunities and connections. The vision for the Spires was a dream and vision from the board of trustees at Berry College inspired by founder Martha Berry. Martha’s vision was to create a strong educational community where students could work to pay their way through school, making a college degree accessible to everyone. Martha created a legacy with her 28 thousand acres of land, and the board of trustees felt as though a Senior Living Community would be the perfect addition to their community.
The Spires at Berry College was born the idea to start serving alumni, the board found that many alumni wanted to return to campus, as it was a place they felt was home. The Spires is a non- profit continuing care retirement community that hires student workers to staff the facility. Students can work and learn about the ins and outs of the industry, with opportunities in finance, nursing, hospitality, etc., while still on their college campus.
Currently, the Spires has 14 students working for the Gates Scholars program, they are interning in all different positions, servers, housekeepers, concierge, etc. The Gates Scholars for Opportunity is a unique program where 1/3 of the education is paid for by a donor, 1/3 they work for with a campus job, and then the students are responsible for the last third. The students are able to gain valuable work experience while also enriching the senior living community.
At the Spires at Berry College, students are working and interacting with residents every day. Aside from work interactions, there is a mentorship program in place which allows students and seniors to connect on a deeper level and receive support as well as career counseling. The bond between the students and residents keeps the residents young and creates hope for our country, world, and the younger generation. Residents get to attend sporting events and campus activities, and the students often create bonds with residents since they away from home.