Synetek Solutions Volunteer Center of Bergen County

Blame it on bergen leads

Ten years ago, I could never have imagined that one day I’d be working with local government, actively involved in forming an advisory panel for senior citizens.  However, life takes us along many different roads and the last ten years have been quite a journey for me. 

As so many of us in the Baby Boomer generation are discovering, we are rapidly becoming the caregivers for our aging parents.  I have learned a tremendous amount in this area from my own experiences with both my parents.  It is not an easy role to play and one fraught with many stumbling blocks.  I joined the Bergen LEADS Class of 2011 while caring for my mother, working part time, and dealing with two college-aged children.  My motivation for becoming a part of LEADS was to further my interest in the non-profit world.  I never imagined that the connections I made at Bergen LEADS and the exposure I gained into local government, would one day give me the voice and the determination to get involved in helping the broader community of aging adults.

Sheryl Silver - in true Bergen LEADS mode -     drinking a martini on a cruise with her husband and sons.
When I say: “give me the voice,” I mean that literally.   Because of my personal experiences with my parents and my connections through Bergen LEADS, I decided to attend a Public Hearing on the Needs of Senior Citizens in Bergen County, sponsored by the Division of Senior Services.   At the conclusion of the hearing, I went up to one of the panelists – Assemblywoman Connie Wagner of District 38.  I knew Connie from her days as a guidance counselor at Paramus High School.  When she inquired as to my reason for attending the hearing, I mentioned my personal interest as well as my involvement with Bergen LEADS.  I also brought up my concerns about a subgroup of the senior population who I felt were falling through the cracks of the system. Connie proceeded to inform me that she was proposing the formation of a Senior Advisory Panel in District 38 to address just those issues.  Before I realized what I was doing, the filter between my mouth and brain malfunctioned and I blurted out “I want to be involved in any way you think I can be of service.”  The next day, the chief of staff from her office was in touch with me to say they were looking forward to me taking a leading role in forming the Advisory Panel. 

 I guess you can say that I “Blame my newly found voice on Bergen LEADS!”

- Sheryl Silver, Class of 2011
A Program of the Bergen Volunteer Center | 64 Passaic Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601 | t. 201-489-9454 f. 201-489-1995 |

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