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NRC to be Presented with Community Partner Award

Northfield Retirement Community (NRC) is proud to announce it has won the President’s Community Partner Award from Minnesota Campus Compact. This award is given to a community-based organization that enhances both the quality of life in the community and educational outcomes in meaningful and measurable ways, and nurtures the relationship with a partnering Minnesota Campus Compact member college or university.

Northfield Retirement Community was nominated for the award for its 15 years of partnering with St. Olaf College in providing social work internships and vocational exploration along with the Story Partner program that matches residents with students for one-on-one visits. NRC is committed to educating the students about issues related to aging and also provides excellent on-boarding orientation, ongoing event support and transportation for students.

St. Olaf College student and Story Partner program participant Ella Skrien says, “When I first started meeting with my partner at NRC, he began by telling me facts from his life – what he did for a living, when he accomplished this or that – but as time went on, trust was built, and our conversations centered more around emotions and values. My biggest takeaway was that I don’t need to be taking a class or be given a reason to listen to people in this way. I can use this approach with anyone in my life and, in turn, build stronger relationships.”

 NRC Director of Social Services Belinda Peterson, LSW, says, “I have worked with St. Olaf’s social work internship program for over 15 years. What a blessing it is to see these “deer-in-the-headlights” students transform into confident advocates for seniors at NRC and later in their social work professions beyond St. Olaf.”

Peterson, along with Director of Activities Milosha Malecha, will accept the award on behalf of NRC at the 2019 Minnesota Summit & Presidents’ Awards Luncheon. The event will be held on April 10, 2019, from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Photo, from left to right:

Milosha Malecha, Director of Activities
Bonnie Peterson, LSW, Director of Social Services
Ella Skrien, St. Olaf College '20
Melissa Mendez, St. Olaf College Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work & Family Studies