Issuing a Challenge to Students in NYU Wagner’s Capstone Program

Photo courtesy: Kalyan Neelamraju via Flickr

Wagner is housed in The Puck Building. Photo courtesy: Kalyan Neelamraju via Flickr

On Monday, September 16, the Lifetime Arts team visited the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University to issue a challenge to students in the Capstone Program there. The assembled students listened to us deliver a brief overview of our work and our vision for the future of the organization. If selected as a Capstone project client, the students will help us revise our business plan with a focus on new and diverse income streams.

Getting Graduate Students to Relate to Creative Aging

We fielded some interesting questions from students and professors but I found myself wishing we had some time to ask them questions of our own, such as:

  • What do you think of the quality of life of your grandparents?
  • Can you imagine your grandparent as a painter? Actor? Singer?
  • How do you envision yourself as an older adult?
  • Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions to make art of any kind?

Making an Impression on the Future of Public Service Leadership

As we try to change the culture of institutions serving older adults we have to realize that these institutions are made up of individuals whose hearts and minds need to be open to the potential for creativity in older adults. These NYU Wagner graduate students may very well lead some of those institutions in the future. We hope that we have planted a seed in them about the transformative power of creative aging programming that will serve as a reference as they embark on careers in public service.

– Ed Friedman

About the Capstone Program

Public Administration, and Urban Planning students in this program are required to take part in a year-long consulting or research project to resolve a problem or conduct an analysis for a public service organization. From the Wagner website:

Capstone brings together teams of graduate students to address complex challenges and identify new opportunities for nonprofit, governmental, health-related, urban planning and international agencies. Project teams approach their assignments with initiative and professionalism. They organize and frame their projects into a thorough work plan that results in a carefully considered final product. Every team produces a written report and conducts a final presentation of their findings and recommendations.

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