LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's a program that's bridging the gap between generations and providing seniors and high school student the opportunity to gain valuable wisdom from one another.
One mentor and mentee tell the East Texas News how they were surprised about how much they have in common.
Lufkin High School students and residents at Pine Crest Retirement Center are test driving a new program called "Wisdom for Youth from Senior Experience."
Students like Lufkin High School Junior, Dunta Simpson are paired with a mentor like Wayne Haglund to see what they can learn from each other.
"We meet with one another every week for an hour or two and we just go through things, get to know each other," said Simpson.
Wayne Haglund is on the Pine Crest board of directors and is also serving as a mentor. He said, "I'm privileged to have had this opportunity to get to know this young man. It's easy to be down on this generation but not when you meet people like Dunta."
The 10-week program has a lesson plan of sorts where the pair discusses important issues ranging from health and budgeting to education, family and faith.
"U've learned Mr. Haglund and I have the same viewpoint on things such as issues in life," said Simpson. "We both have a lot for sports, Mr. Haglund played sports when he was in high school and me, myself I play football."
Both men were surprised to learn that they share the same opinions on a lot of topics but offer up different perspectives which is instructive for them both.
"I learned that although there is 40 something years difference in our ages a lot of the things that matter to each of us are the same," said Haglund.
"It's good to know that someone other than children in my generation that I can have similarities with," said Simpson. "One thing that I have learned is to start early with the game plan in life because you never know when it's going to go into effect."
Haglund says working with Dunta has restored his confidence in his generation because he has realized that they worry about the same things.
"I have learned from him that the fears and concerns are the same as when I was his age and so I'm able to address those because I've been there done that," said Haglund.
This is the first year for the WYSE program for Pine Crest and Lufkin ISD and organizers hope the wisdom gained will last a lifetime.