Everyone has a story that's worth preserving.
The Legacy Project, Inc. (TLP) connects college students with local elders in their community with the purpose of building strong intergenerational relationships and documenting the life histories of seniors, ensuring that their legacies are preserved for years to come.
Join an ever-growing network of college students across the country passionate about telling stories, and form a Legacy Project chapter at your school or university today. Fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon about next steps!
The concept of The Legacy Project (TLP) began in 2018, when Arielle Galinsky, a high school junior at the time, spent her time working at a local senior community in her Massachusetts hometown. Her role allowed her to interact with the residents, which she greatly enjoyed, yet she always left her shift with a strong desire to learn more about the stories of the seniors she met. With this strong curiosity, paired with a deep sense of regret she felt having lost her own grandfathers at a young age, Arielle decided to spearhead TLP as a personal project. The initiative encompassed conducting thorough interviews of 18 residents living in the community, with the intention to hold a ceremony at the finale of the project to provide her older friends with the opportunity to share their stories with their families. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Arielle pivoted, and decided the best way to preserve the 18 captivating stories of the seniors she interviewed was through prose. Arielle published Their Lives Reflected: A Treasury of Life Stories Captured Through The Legacy Project in 2021 to showcase and celebrate their life accounts, both for the seniors themselves and their families.
Little did she know that, in the state right next over, Katie Furey, a sophomore in college home for the pandemic, started a similar project of her own. Katie had always been close with her grandmother, Mary, who was living in a nursing home at the time of the pandemic. When Katie and her family would visit Mary and her neighbors from outside the window of the nursing home, waving frantically through the glass and chatting on the phone, Katie wished there was a way for young people like herself to connect more deeply with these wonderful people on the other side of the glass who were experiencing a loneliness perhaps even more pronounced than the loneliness Katie and her peers were facing as the pandemic ramped up. The United Nations Millennium Fellowship being hosted through Tufts University presented a perfect opportunity for Katie to put her idea into action. Using the program’s framework, Katie partnered with the Little Sisters of the Poor home in Enfield, Connecticut. Katie met around ten older adults from the home on Zoom, connecting with them and learning tidbits of their life stories, which she is working on compiling as a series of vignettes.
Arielle and Katie met in 2020, quickly connecting over their aligned passions to build intergenerational connections provide a platform for local seniors to share their stories, and preserve such histories through their collective love for writing. They decided to start the Tufts Legacy Project, a chapter of The Legacy Project based out of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts which seeks to bond college students 1:1 with older adults living in the host communities of Medford and Somerville. When Katie decided to join the Millennium Fellowship for a second year, she met Wanda Schlumpf, a sophomore at Tufts, who was similarly dedicated to the value of storytelling. Wanda took on the project with her and joined the Tufts TLP chapter as a founding member. Together, the three women helped to build it into an organization of nearly 30 students passionate about empowering local seniors with the platform to amplify their stories.
Having watched the Tufts chapter grow over the past two years, Arielle, Katie, and Wanda decided to establish TLP as a nonprofit organization with the goal of spreading TLP’s mission across the country - preserving stories of seniors who might not otherwise have the opportunity. TLP seeks to build sustainable, intergenerational connections as a means to combat social isolation, preserve the life histories of older adults, engage young individuals in revolutionizing perspectives on aging, and ensure that every old adult- regardless of background - has the opportunity to share their experiences.
There are millions of stories waiting to be told. It's your moment to change that.
Leave a lasting legacy on your college or university campus by founding a chapter of The Legacy Project at your school today. Join our E-List below for updates.