The Age-Friendly Innovation Center (AFIC), a program of The Ohio State University College of Social Work, was established in early 2021. AFIC is built off the work and research of Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County, a member of entered AARP and World Health Organization international network of Age-Friendly Communities since 2016. This network defines a five-year process for communities across the globe to assess, plan, and implement needed improvements through the lens of older adults. Each community is given access to resources and guidance for how to complete the work and is also given the flexibility to cater the process locally. December of 2020 marked the culmination of first full cycle of improvements in Columbus and Franklin County-defined by five years of robust discovery and innovation with older adult residents and those who serve them. As the cycle is intended to be continuous, AFCFC has relaunched the process as of January 2021. The work of AFCFC is nestle under the greater mission of AFIC, to innovate with older adults through research, education, and engagement to ensure inclusion and build resiliency to make our communities age-friendly. All work of AFIC is committed to a set of principles that guide and ground the work: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. Accessibility. Community Engagement. Interdisciplinary Collaboration.
In Central Ohio, AFIC works closely with older adults to understand their challenges, list our community assets, and design ideas for improvement through community-based participatory research and planning. Working together to identify and implement solutions, with the goal of continually showcasing the important impact older adults have in our community. AFCFC has collaborated with agencies, nonprofits, and many others to fund, launch, and evaluate the impact of these projects. Through transportation, housing, emergency preparedness, employment projects and more – our efforts have made Columbus and Franklin County an even better place to live for people of all ages.
The Age-Friendly Innovation Center Scholar Program is designed to provide qualified college students with the opportunity to obtain an understanding of aging, the international age-friendly movement, and practical work experience with multi-disciplinary leaders.
Scholars work for Age-Friendly in a variety of capacities, depending on the nature of current priorities and projects. Scholars will have the opportunity to attend Age-Friendly team meetings, program work groups, focus groups, community meetings, and many other events and forums during their employment period.
- Gain practical cross discipline work experience such as education and training on aging, leading focus groups, engaging in community-based programming, and other skills
- Increase their understanding of the incorporation of the aging and accessibility lens to their respective major
- Receive mentorship from an interdisciplinary team, with the opportunity to build on-going mentoring relationships outside of employment
- Build their professional network through connection to interdisciplinary leaders through Age-Friendly partners and contacts
- Participate in research, publications, and presentations as available
- Receive the Age-Friendly Innovation Scholars designation, to be included on resume/CV
Age-Friendly seeks students studying various disciplines in social work, city and regional planning, public policy, public health, health sciences, communications, design, information technology, and public administration. Those outside of these majors are still encouraged to apply if they are interested in the work.
For the Autumn 2021 posting, is open to any major across the university. Both undergraduate and graduate students interested in the work of AFIC are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be a part of an interdisciplinary team of students deepen their knowledge and experience in working with older adults.
Age-Friendly Innovation Center Scholars Autumn 2021 Cohort Expectations
- Compete Age-Friendly on-boarding, including orientation, shadowing, CITI Training, etc
- Participate in AFIC Scholars weekly team meetings, that will provide training, intergenerational connections, and networking opportunities
- Create individual goals related to mission and current work of AFIC
- Contribute to an AFIC Scholars Report
- Participate and present at the AFIC Open House as a culminating end of semester event
Autumn semester 2021, 10 hours a week
Marisa Sheldon, MSW, LISW-S
Assistant Director of Age-Friendly Communities
Columbus and Franklin County
College of Social Work