Laura Newland, executive director, DC Office of Aging and Community Living

At the Office on Aging, our summer is filling up with community events. Every year in June, the District celebrates Gay Pride with two weeks of Pride events, including the Capital Pride Festival and Parade. DCOA is proud to be a part of the celebrations and the opportunity to continue reaching out to LGBTQ older adults. We’ll be marching with the Mayor’s team at the Parade and we’ll have a booth at the festival the weekend of June 10th. We’d love to see you out there!

And that’s just the beginning. On Tuesday, June 20th, we’ll hold the Mayor’s Sixth Annual Senior Symposium at Ballou High School — the first time we’ve held the event East of the River. Every year, we strive to deliver the best symposium ever! And my team has been working around the clock lining up dynamic speakers, practical workshops, and informative exhibitors. Last year’s Symposium was great, but this year’s will be even better.

That same week, we have our Ms. Senior D.C. pageant on June 25th. Eight District seniors will compete for the title of Ms. Senior D.C., and the winner will go on to represent the District at the national competition. And of course, DCOA will be joining the Department of Parks and Recreation for the annual Senior Fest Picnic on June 29th at Oxon Run Park.

We are staying busy this summer, and it’s no wonder — you’re setting our pace! You’re setting an example, not just for District residents, but those across the country on how to age out loud, by living full, healthy lives, giving back to your communities, and speaking up for issues you believe in. You’re showing us that aging does not mean getting old—it means living your life to the fullest. And as Mayor Bowser likes to remind me, my job is to keep up and to ensure that District government is working for you.

At the Office on Aging, we want to make sure that you are driving the conversation about where we want to go, as an agency, as a community, and as a city. You show us that aging is not just about what you have done in the past, it’s about what you are doing today. Aging is living.

You ENRICH your communities, your families, and our younger generations. Mayor Bowser often talks about D.C. values and how our shared D.C. values are what makes D.C. great. You are the core of these values and you instilled them in us. You EMPOWER yourselves, your community and each other by taking charge of your health and wellness, staying independent and advocating for the issues you believe in. You ENGAGE. You are connected to your community, your churches, neighbors and friends. And you are civically engaged and holding your government accountable.

Because seniors in the District ENRICH, EMPOWER, and ENGAGE, these three words are at the core of what we do at the Office on Aging. We want to ensure that all seniors in the District are able to continue to do so—no matter your ward, no matter if you’ve been here five generations or five minutes. When you join us at the Senior Symposium this month, you will see that these 3Es will be consistent throughout the programming. But beyond that, you will see that these 3Es will be central to all that we do, day in and day out, and that everything we do at DCOA is with purpose—to Enrich, Empower, and Engage, just as you do every day.

Thanks for leading the way!

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *