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Why OLLI Matters: a personal perspective

At the National Resource Center (NRC) for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes we appreciate hearing the stories of OLLI members from across the country.  Articles such as this one remind us all of the purpose that we serve and why we’re here to provide resources to and connect the 119 Osher Institutes.

Margaret Pashko

OLLI at Southern Oregon University member Margaret Pashko

In her narrative, Margaret Pashko tells the story of arriving in Southern Oregon in May of 2013 after saying goodbye to her friends and family in California.  We all know that relocating can be difficult at any stage of life, and Margaret cuts to the point saying, “as I approached my mid-60s without my partner and best pal, I suddenly understood how depression and isolation can become realities.”

After hearing of the OLLI program at Southern Oregon University, Margaret found that “OLLI classes have allowed me to keep myself intellectually challenged. What’s more, I’ve made connections with some fascinating people. These friendships provide opportunities to go out to dinner or the theater — without feeling like the ‘fifth wheel’…To me, OLLI provides the all-important link between a balanced social life and one of the sure-fire antidotes to aging: lifelong learning! As we know, older adults who find themselves without social connections are more prone to physical and mental health issues.”

“My participation in OLLI is the best way I’ve found to fuel my curiosity and keep my connections alive and well.”

We want to thank Margaret for sharing her personal journey and the role that the OLLI at Southern Oregon University and its members have played in her life.  Do you have a story to share, the NRC would like to hear from you!

Read Margaret’s full article in the Ashland Daily Tidings

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