A key element of Pleasant View’s ethos is a commitment to building intergenerational community, and we make an active effort to incorporate programming that encourages relationship-building across age groups.
One such program is OneLife, a nine-month Christian Gap Year program that partners with Pleasant View and brings around 28 post-high school young adults to the campus each year. The partnership began two years ago and this month, Pleasant View welcomed its third group of students.
A Christian Gap Year program typically spans a one-year (9-12 months) educational journey aimed at assisting young individuals transitioning from one life phase to another, often from high school to college or from college or high school to employment. A gap year initiative aims to help young adults find their path or purpose, develop life skills, and successfully transition into the next stage of their life.
We spoke with Pleasant View President and CEO, Jonathan Hollinger, and OneLife Site Director, Logan Stoner, to get more insight into the program and its impact on both the students and the Pleasant View community.
The Principles Behind OneLife
The OneLife Program was established as a discipleship opportunity for young adults to develop Christian character, clarify their calling, and develop relationship wisdom.
“We want these students to really grind into their purpose,” Logan said.
By completing the OneLife program, student participants are awarded 27 college credits through Cairn University in Langhorne, PA. The program operates in four different locations—Upper Tract, WV; Morris, PA; Marietta, SC; and Pleasant View Communities, right here in Manheim.
“The program at Pleasant View is unique in that it has intergenerational living and a wide variety of people— staff and residents— working in a wide variety of fields,” Logan said.
Because of its variety of people and positions, Pleasant View offers students multiple career paths to explore during their time on campus, including Senior Living, Facility Management, Healthcare, Hospitality, Leadership and Administration, Ministry, and more.
Outside of their career study area, students are also paired with a “PV Pal” who serves as their personal mentor. This can be a resident or staff member. In fact, Jonathan said he has proudly served as a PV Pal in the past.
“Studies show that the period between 18 and 21 is such a critical time in a person’s life,” Logan said. “OneLife was created to target that age group and help them understand who they are as a person, how they interact with the world, and what story they want to be a part of.”
A Partnership Built on Reciprocity
In speaking about the program, Jonathan emphasizes the give-and-take nature of the partnership between OneLife and Pleasant View.
“Our community members offer guidance to students, but the students teach us things as well,” Jonathan said. “Having students on campus gives residents and students alike the unique opportunity to build deep, meaningful relationships across generations.”
Normally, these age groups might not mingle as frequently or interact as collaboratively, but the OneLife program fosters relationships built on deep respect and mutual appreciation.
“Just as these young adults are trying to find their purpose, our residents are often losing their own sense of self,” Jonathan said. “This program helps reinvigorate that in residents.”
The mentorship program also allows young people to connect with older community members outside their own families.
“Kids might not want to listen to their parents or grandparents, but they will listen to residents whose life experiences they may not know,” Jonathan said. “Young adults need other sounding boards and sources of encouragement.”
Similarly, he said, residents have mentioned how they have developed a better understanding of their own children and grandchildren thanks to their interactions with OneLife program students.
Jonathan and Logan both have stories about the meaningful connections made through the program and the impact these intergenerational relationships have on both groups.
In one case, Logan recalled, a resident who regularly kept her door closed would often keep it cracked for the two young students she was teaching to knit. Conversely, Jonathan recounted a story of another resident who helped a OneLife student come out of his shell.
Pleasant View Will Welcome Another Group of OneLife Students This Fall
The partnership between Pleasant View and OneLife excels for many reasons, but what makes it truly unique is the space it provides for unexpected, yet profound connections. Generations are often in their own silos, each dismissing the others for any number of reasons.
At Pleasant View, the OneLife program closes that gap.
“There is so much story represented in the life and heartbeat of Pleasant View,” Logan said. “At its core, this program asks us all to be curious of each other and this world.”
Across Pleasant View, Jonathan said everyone feels the excitement of having OneLife students return – even him.
“They bring such a vibrancy to campus,” he said. With a chuckle he added, “I look forward to hearing longboards zooming down our Town Square again this fall.”
For more information about living life to its fullest at Pleasant View, give us a call at 717-297-6538, or schedule a tour and stop by for a visit!