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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2019 04:15 PM
From: Representative Jared G. Solomon and Rep. Steve Samuelson
To: All House members
Subject: Older Adult MVP - Mentor Volunteer Program
In our journey to become legislators, many of us benefited from mentors who took us under their wing and guided our path. Similarly, many of our lives are enriched by sharing what we know with the next generation. We should do all we can to give older adults a chance to share their knowledge with young people, and also give teenagers an opportunity to interact with someone of a different generation.

With this legislation we will establish a certified list of retired volunteers who would be willing to share their life-lessons, experience and hobbies with junior and high school students interested in enhancing their knowledge and skill sets. Older adults wishing to participate would be required to undergo criminal background checks and any other necessary requirements put forth by their school district.

The ability to have one list of vetted volunteers shared among our Commonwealth’s school districts will allow for an easier, simpler, and more cohesive manner in which to pair a volunteer with a student. By also utilizing existing programs, this list could provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for any older adult wishing to participate or guidance counselor looking to help a student learn more about a specific topic, trade or hobby of interest.

The list is meant to be unlimited in nature; encompassing a host of interests and lessons such as:
  • Conversing in a foreign language;
  • Discussing a specific trade such as wood working, plumbing, etc.
  • Learning more about a career path, i.e. spending time with a retired doctor to learn about the medical field, a journalist to learn about the media, an artist to learn about a career in the arts;
  • Honing a new hobby such as knitting, gardening, playing a musical instrument, etc.; or
  • Firsthand information about a historical event from a veteran or a nurse.
This program will create a two-way street in which both the mentor and the mentee's lives are enriched by the other. Older Pennsylvanians can indeed learn as much from young people as vice versa. Let's do our part to help make these valuable connections possible.

Introduced as HB298