SCSEP director, Pam Bates, in Iredell County, NC shared program success and messages of inclusion with the local newspaper during NEOWW. Ms. Bates communicated a story about Oscar Rivera who moved to Statesville from New Jersey and joined the SCSEP program. After training, Mr. Rivera was hired as the Yokefellow Ministry thrift store manager. His bilingual skills have helped increase the number of Hispanic customers at the thrift store. Mr. Rivera said:
“This program has been a blessing for me, to not only keep me occupied mentally and physically, but also (strengthened) my integrity”.
Melinda Charles, the North Carolina coordinator for SCSEP hopes that NEOWW and sharing articles like this will help break down stereotypes about older adults in the United States. Ms. Charles said:
“Older people have a lot to offer the community and programs like SCSEP can help them share their unique skills.”