Lentorious Jefferson’s passion for the older population was sparked through her work as a certified nursing assistant in a skilled nursing facility.
“The friendships she formed with residents, and a conversation with [Gerontology Professor and Chair] Dr. Julie Masters, inspired her to pursue a career in aging and to enroll in our master’s program,” said Chris Kelly, graduate chair of UNO’s Department of Gerontology.
“My desire has always been to advocate for, protect, and serve the geriatric population,” Jefferson says. This passion led her to pursue a master’s degree in social gerontology through the Department of Gerontology within UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service. She gained the knowledge and skills needed to realize this passion by earning her master’s degree entirely through online courses while balancing full-time work obligations and living in Lincoln.
“The gerontology master’s program has prepared me to advocate for older adults by understanding the importance of programs and services available to older adults and understanding normal and abnormal age-related changes,” she says.
Jefferson plans to advocate for older adults through her employment as a Medicaid Waiver Level of Care Specialist and is considering continuing her education and pursuing her doctoral degree.
“The gerontology master’s program has prepared me to serve the geriatric population by expanding my knowledge on the many issues and opportunities facing the fastest growing population in the country,” she says.
As part of her practicum experience, Jefferson chose to work with Aging Partners in Lincoln to broaden her understanding of aging programs in the public sector. This led to one of her favorite memories in the program in which older adults took part in a flash mob at Gateway Mall in Lincoln. “It was amazing to see the reactions and break the stereotypes about physical activity and older adults.”
“My hope is that I continue to build relationships advocating, protecting, and serving older Nebraskans.”
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
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