How It Started
The Journey As Told By Our Founder
Taking the earliest flight out I could to see my grandfather suddenly hospitalized on the other side of the planet, getting ill while there, then losing a position as a Community Outreach VISTA for a nonprofit I was with at the time and also approaching my 30’s - a pocket of time was allowed to me to re-evaluate what I wanted to do in my life.
Come very early 2016 and I was determined to start my own business focused on the beauty of enriching oneself by learning new skills with others. I had just learned of Chinese senior colleges that I were commonplace there and wanted to bring my own personal version of that experience to senior communities and people in general in Chicago.
With the spirit I felt that those life-long learning communities had, I named my business Learn More, Live More and we opened our classes Spring of that year.
As things progressed, I recalled a college research paper I had written about aging America and one sliver of it sticking out to me about inter-generality and longevity.
Soon, it became apparent to me that I would want to bring generations together and build a free-flowing community without age segregated classes and to combine populations of all kinds under one roof to learn and explore a variety of topics together. The challenge became how to do that.
Being fiscally sponsored by Resilience Partners, NFP at this point, I went ahead and organized together a fundraiser for what we hoped to be our first inter-generational program.
By now, we had a variety of offerings taught by a group of instructors and with my curatorial background, I organized an art show to benefit a program that in Fall of 2017 allowed for each student of the close-knit group to learn all the disciplines we taught with those of other generations each week for the course of 2 months, and by this time, we were called Seeds Center.
We were then able to raise funds again for our Fall 2018 “Inter-Gen” Program and plans to start “Inter-Gen” Outings bringing past groups together for events and gatherings around the city are expected to start 2019 Spring. Other ideas to make our programs barrier-less in terms of language are also expected for 2019. And we have high hopes for creating new programming that continues to explore using learning as a medium for bringing people together, enriching the community, and rethinking gaps in traditionally structured learning.
- Charlotte S Lin
Written Late Winter Early 2019