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  • Susan Friedman

GP NYC is Thrilled to Welcome Intern Sophia Casale

Hi, my name is Sophia Casale. I am a native New Yorker, but I currently reside in Central New Jersey. Growing up in a close-knit Italian-American family, I was always surrounded by older relatives. Many of whom have since passed, though they live on in the innumerable lessons each and every one of them has taught me. One could say I am where I am in my career because of the early intergenerational connections I had. Although, I didn’t realize I would like to work with and advocate on behalf of older adults until more recently.

As an undergraduate at Stockton University, I dedicated four years of my education to studying Psychology and, funny enough, minoring in Childhood Studies. One summer spent in a local level I trauma center volunteering as a candy stripper and I knew my life’s work should involve the aging population. After graduation, I worked in a skilled nursing facility and moved to my current position where I plan and implement activities for older adults living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia in an assisted living facility. I am fortunate to spend each workday with an inspiring group of residents. They, too, have provided me with the best advice!

I am also finishing up my M.S. in Gerontology with a concentration in Management of Aging Services from UMass-Boston. As a graduate student I have studied numerous processes of aging, aging services, policies, and programs. This semester I am taking my final course, my thesis. Where I plan to focus my paper on tangible ways skilled nursing facilities can value their direct care staff and how the consequences of doing so can have an impact on the quality of care patients and residents of these facilities receive.

As a Gray Panther intern, I am eager to take part in the actions the New York City chapter has been embarking on; and I am grateful to GPNYC for allowing me the opportunity to not only make significant impacts on behalf of those I worked and still work with but for larger groups of older adults. When I am not working on my thesis paper or spending my days with my residents, you can find me curled up with my dog Ruby, knitting, or enjoying some quality time with loved ones.


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