News Story

September 25, 2019

La Roche University Students Live and Volunteer with Terrace Place at Vincentian Residents

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 25, 2019 – La Roche University and Vincentian Collaborative System have partnered to offer Western Pennsylvania’s first intergenerational residency for college students and seniors.

The Students in Residence program offers a unique opportunity for students to live and volunteer with seniors at Terrace Place at Vincentian, a new independent living community for individuals 55 and older. Participating students receive free room and board, with all major utilities included.

“La Roche University continually seeks new and innovative ways to serve the local, regional and global community. The Students in Residence Program at Terrace Place allows us to meet the needs of a growing population right here in the North Hills of Pittsburgh,” Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., president of La Roche, said. “By 2030 nearly a quarter of Pennsylvania residents will be 65 years old. This groundbreaking program allows students to serve this demographic while forming rewarding connections with members of an intergenerational community.”

As part of the program, students live in a Terrace Place apartment with another Student in Residence for one academic year. In exchange for room and board, students agree to spend time with residents for a minimum of six hours per week. Students may volunteer to provide technology assistance, organize events, perform light housework or provide dedicated social time.

Nick Vizzoca, president and CEO of Vincentian Collaborative System, said, “We are proud that Terrace Place is the first senior community in Western Pennsylvania to partner with a local university for intergenerational living. The Students in Residence program offers students unparalleled experiences and mentorship that will last a lifetime and serve as a stepping stone to any number of careers.”

Natasha Ngandwe, a senior majoring in health science, currently participates in the Students in Residence program. She said the most rewarding part of living in an intergenerational environment is the opportunity to exchange experiences.

“Being able to gain knowledge and give it back is an amazing experience,” Ms. Ngandwe said. “By helping our seniors, we help ourselves. Whether big or small, my contribution can influence someone else. I always am interested in learning from others, and from the time I met these seniors at my interview, I knew I had a lot to gain.”

Junior Jessica Hannes said that she wanted to be a companion to the residents at Vincentian.

“I mostly just wanted to be another person they could trust—someone who listens to their stories, and someone who genuinely is interested in them and their role in society,” Ms. Hannes, a marketing major, said.

A maximum of six La Roche students are accepted each year. Candidates from all majors of study are welcome to apply. Applicants must be entering their sophomore year or higher, have a current GPA of at least 2.5 and be in good standing with the University. Vincentian requires all students to obtain appropriate clearances, a TB shot and an annual flu shot. Students also undergo a physical and drug screen. All interested students must complete an application and provide three references.

For more information visit laroche.edu/vincentian.

About La Roche University: A private liberal arts university in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers 66 undergraduate programs of study, six master’s degrees and one doctoral degree, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential university provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,400 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.

About Vincentian: Vincentian is a not-for-profit health care and human services organization that offers a continuum of care for more than 2,000 seniors per year, including independent living, personal care, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing. Vincentian coordinates three long-term senior care communities in the Greater Pittsburgh area, plus three personal care homes, two child care centers, two independent living communities and a charitable foundation. The system was founded in the Catholic tradition in 1924 and is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. For more information, visit vcs.org.

###