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WHATAn intergenerational mentoring program that puts together seniors and at risk youth with the aim of preventing, reducing or delaying the use of alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse in young adults.
WHYTo use intergenerational relationships and the experience and company of older adults as an intervention for youth who are at risk for substance abuse issues.
WHERETemple University Center for Intergenerational Learning. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Program Description

Across Ages aims to improve youth academic performance, school attendance and behavior and attitudes. It also works to strengthen relationships with adults and peers and help youth with problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Across Ages operates by involving seniors, youth, families and communities in the following ways:

  • Mentoring - older adults (55+) are recruited from the community, trained and matched as mentors spending one-on-one time with youth.
  • Community Service - youth time each week performing community service, including regular visits to frail elders in community nursing homes.
  • Social Competence Training – based on the Social Problem-Solving Module.
  • Family Activities - monthly weekend events are held for youth, their family members and mentors and include activities that are culture-specific as well as recreational, social and sporting events.

The Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning Across Ages program targets youth who:

  • Are economically disadvantaged.   
  • Have had school failure.
  • Have problem behavior in school.
  • Have few positive adult role models.
  • Have a Peer group engaged in risky behaviors.
  • Live in communities with no opportunities for positive free-time activities.
  • Are in kinship care due to inability of birth parents to care for them, often due to incarceration or substance use.
Senior Contributions Programs
Intergenerational - Seniors Helping Youth
Intergenerational - Social Activities




Find out more about the Across Ages Program

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