By Kate Tracy
Last year Pastor Kersey embedded into our heads that “every person has a great story to tell.” This premise caused CLT leader and art enthusiast Rachel Newby to create a new CLT project called “Heart to HeART.” Throughout the semester, Newby plans to lead a group of Corban students in interactions with seniors at the Tierra Rose Senior Center in Salem. They’ll talk to the seniors and hear the stories they have to tell. Eventually, each student will create an art piece – a painting, drawing, poem or other medium – depicting one senior’s significant stories.
The inspiration behind Newby’s project was twofold. The “story” theme in chapel last year made her realize the importance of listening to other people’s stories.
“That’s how we gain wisdom and learn from other people’s experiences,” she says.
Newby’s great-grandfather also helped her understand how the wealth of entertainment and knowledge from older people can enrich younger students.
Newby’s inspiration found fruition in the form of Corban’s on-campus Community Life Team. The Community Life Team has a purpose of intersecting a passion with a need on campus. Being personally passionate about art, Newby chose it for communicating people’s stories. Although many students love art, they often do not have the time or the outlet to create it.
“I want to have a place where people can just do art,” she explains.
She hopes her fellow students will gain a new perspective on life from these interactions with older people and from making art.
“We’re just sitting on our computers and text messaging and we have such a limited view of life,” she comments.
Older generations lived so differently than people do now, and she sees the value in exploring what they went through and how God sustained them.
Teanna Alsum, a student involved in “Heart to HeART,” explains that she wants a better understanding of life in general. “I like listening to older people because they have a lot of wisdom,” she says.
Besides all the personal benefits of this project, Newby expects that the seniors at Tierra Rose Senior Center will love getting to talk to students.
Ashley Cowan is particularly excited about being able to bless the older generation, just by listening to them. “I love old people and just being able to build relationships with them, and being able to bring them enjoyment,” she says.
As for the art projects, Newby hopes to display them in the Psalm Center and maybe even decorate some Corban classrooms with them. Since no classrooms currently showcase art or decorations of any sort, she thinks these student projects would be a great way to liven them up. Her other plans for the “Heart to HeART” project include expanding to daycares or faculty members, and hearing stories from a variety of walks of life.