Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute Brings Fresh Course Lineup to Adults 50+

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Park Vista of Youngstown opens a lifelong learning institute on its campus.

The institute is the Valley's opportunity for intellectual wellness later in life: Affordable, accessible, academic-level lectures.

The Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute welcomes its first learners this month, inviting them to explore new ideas in a fresh, imaginative way.

Shaped by Park Vista of Youngstown, a leader in retirement services in the Mahoning Valley since 1947, the institute's rich educational opportunities will inspire and challenge people throughout the Valley age 50 and up.

"The Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute extends and strengthens Park Vista of Youngstown's whole-person wellness approach, says Brian Kolenich. Kolenich is Park Vista's executive director and serves on the institute's advisory board.

"The institute is the Valley's opportunity for intellectual wellness later in life: Affordable, accessible, academic-level lectures."

The institute will open its spring semester Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, as Dr. Greg Ferro takes participants inside the lives of two 20th century U.S. presidents.

The timely Presidents' Day course kicks off the institute's Harris Lecture Series on History and Political Science. The institute's four donor-funded series are supported by charitable gifts and also include the Gelhaar Lecture Series on Arts and Culture, Kyle Lecture Series on Religion and Spirituality, and Wellness and Rehabilitation Lecture Series.

"The donor gifts are inspiring and show trust in the institute, its vision and Park Vista," Kolenich said. "Future endowments will ensure the institute fulfills its mission of bringing new ideas, adventures and understanding to Mahoning Valley's older adults."

The institute has partnered with the Mahoning Valley Historical Society,The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, and Youngstown State University.

"We're partnering with three local organizations that share our goal and mission," said institute Director Marise Sahyoun, M.Ed. "Those partners add depth and dimension to our curriculum and our growing institute."

This clearly will be a game-changer for the Valley, our institutions and older Americans, said Youngstown State's Director of Learning in Retirement, Melvin North.

"We try to connect people to resources to inspire them to be lifelong learners and to enrich their lives," said Library Director Heidi M. Daniel. "I think, together, we have the resources to develop a great program for older adults."

"I'm really excited for You Conduct!," said Sahyoun. "Participants first will learn about conducting and then will direct a live chamber ensemble. There's no cost to attend, either."

The institute's first semester courses and speaker bios are online at

"We have a fabulous group of presenters for our first semester, and I'm focused on securing dynamic speakers for our fall semester. Right now, I'm working with a national speaker and author of 11 books whom we'll be honored to host later this year," said Sahyoun.

"The institute's potential is incredible," said Kolenich. "Since it's on our campus, it's the opportunity to retire with culture, style, whole-person wellness. We're creating incredible experiences and incredible lifestyles."

Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute
The Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute was created by Park Vista of Youngstown, a leader in aging services in the Mahoning Valley since 1947. Located on the Park Vista campus, this institute is designed to be the premier entity of its kind in Northeast Ohio. Park Vista of Youngstown is one of 11 retirement communities owned and operated by OPRS Communities, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services (OPRS), headquartered in Columbus. Since 1922, OPRS has defined the highest standards of quality of life for older adults. Each year, OPRS serves more than 73,000 people annually through its wholly owned subsidiaries OPRS Communities and Senior Independence. Senior Independence provides home and community based services, operates 10 adult day centers and manages six senior centers, in partnership with local governments. In addition, Senior Independence services are extended nationwide through its iPartners. Another wholly owned subsidiary, the OPRS Foundation raises several million dollars annually to support charity care, special programs, capital expansion and endowment.

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