South Florida High School Club —SMILE— Launches to Improve Assisted Living Facilities Residents’ Quality of Life
Alison Rogers of Coral Springs, Florida, loves to speak publicly but when she thought of really turning one of her ideas into action, she worried that she wouldn’t know where to start.
Thanks to the workshops and tips that she picked up at Take the Lead, Alison’s fear was put to rest. She not only executed her idea of improving the lives of residents at a local Assisted Living Facilities but she did so with gusto—involving donors, founding a student club, holding a successful donation drive that collected 890 items, and creating a lot of smiles in April when gifts were delivered to residents of the Windsor Assisted Living Facility. Throughout this summer, students will continue to visit 19 more facilities in South Florida, distributing hundreds of more gifts with smiles.
Alison founded S.M.I.L.E. (Stimulating Minds in Loving Environments) as a community service club at her school in order to offer sensory stimulation to residents in Assisted Living Facilities while simultaneously exposing teenagers to different aspects of health care and teaching a sense of responsibility for the elderly and less fortunate. Her club, 29 members strong, helps involve students with residents in more than 20 Assisted Living Facilities in the South Florida area.
Alison looks forward next year to spreading her project’s model to three more area high schools and possibly to another in North Carolina where a friend lives. She hopes by the time she graduates that her fledgling organization will be well funded and continue to complete its mission. She’s also interested in legislation and would like to see laws passed that will help improve conditions at Assisted Living Facilities. She recently spoke with her member of Congress about this, and she intends to take her passion with her to college.