Just under a year ago, my family and I migrated to Virginia City, Nevada. The social aspect of this community is very understanding and welcoming to those who wander through. Through newfound connections in the community, I had the opportunity to meet and interview a very warm-hearted individual. This individual is the director of the local Virginia City senior center. Stacy York is a very talented professional who has successfully begun to fill gaps within the community to better serve our elders.
Stacy is a very driven and highly educated individual who was born and raised in Carson City. She chose to stay within the heart of Northern Nevada because she knew she could support her community in so many ways. She began her professional journey working within the Carson City School District. She focused on the gifted and talented population by gathering appropriate grants. This career design allowed her to branch out of the school district and discover the world of aging and disabilities. Stacy took a position that allowed her the opportunity to manage senior grant writing. Stacy's responsibility was to ensure the grants that were put out for review were meeting the federal spectrum of compliance.
Stacy feels that it is important for everyone of any age to feel like they are able to ask for assistance while still maintaining their independence. She remembers when she was younger traveling to visit her grandparents. She feels connected to this particular age group because she was unable to live close to her grandparents and help them find resources they may have needed. This is why working with grants provided her a sense of belonging. She was able to find funding for programs that support the community in a variety of ways. Just a few years ago, Stacy was offered the opportunity to move on from grant writing into a position that would allow her to utilize her acquired skill set while still interacting with her clients. This position was as executive director for the newly organized Virginia City Senior Center.
In this position Stacy has worked to provide services for the ever-growing community of elders in rural Nevada. On the frontlines, she had developed connections with other programs so that she can offer specialized services through the senior center. Some of the services she is able to offer are Meals on Wheels, transportation and benefit enrollment. Behind the scenes, she is able to support members through measures that relate closely to what is known as casework. She works to provided resources such as energy assistance, relocation, health care, housing and SNAP. The passion that drives her success comes directly from the heart. During my interview, Stacy told me something that really stuck in reference to why she chooses to promote services in rural Nevada. Her response: “Knowing I am helping someone who cannot always help themselves.”
In the coming years, she hopes to expand the resources of the senior center to other rural areas. One big step would be building a new senior center in Lockwood. This is because the population of elders in Storey County is growing as the years press on. By building a center in Lockwood, she can work to improve their living resources. Stacey hopes that she can assist with developing an independent senior living location to support elders in living more comfortably.
One way in which all of us as a community can come together would be by taking active roles in our grandparents' lives. This is crucial to how our families operate and determine the success of each individual's aging process.