Cherokee Elder Care hosts students from Vanderbilt University

03/04/2020 10:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Vanderbilt University students will again visit Tahlequah in March to take part in the Alternative Spring Break Program and will interact with Cherokee Elder Care and its clients. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Vanderbilt University students clean up a yard in Tahlequah as part of the Alternative Spring Break Program. In March, students will again visit the Cherokee Elder Care Program in Tahlequah. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Elder Care has been hosting groups of volunteers from Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee, for many years as part of the university’s Alternative Spring Break Program and is again hosting the group this month.

Alternative Spring Break is a student-run service organization that engages more than 400 students each year. Before the week of service, students meet as a group to learn some context regarding their site’s theme. This includes history, relevance and other important information.

“While the cultural activities are memorable, students will gain a great sense of pride by volunteering for PACE (Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) Participants by completing chores they are no longer able to do for themselves at home and spending time with elders in the adult day health center. Much of this work is carried out outdoors including raking leaves, cutting and clearing limbs and removing trash and other debris,” said Cherokee Elder Care Intake & Marketing Manager Rachel Jackson.

The ASB mission is to motivate students to become active citizens through intentional community engagement, added Jackson. The group named “Sunrise” are at Cherokee Elder Care March 2-6.

“They will have the opportunity to connect with a segment of the greatly under-served population in our country, Native Americans and the elderly. Students have the advantage of jumping into Cherokee History at the Cherokee Cultural Center and newly opened Cherokee history museums located in the heart of downtown Tahlequah,” Jackson said. “Students will also be able to gain an understanding of the context in which Cherokee Elder Care PACE operates with the purpose of helping seniors remain in their homes for as long as possible and to deepen their understanding of the modern Cherokee experience.”

Students also will tour of the largest tribally operated outpatient health center in the United States located in Tahlequah.

For more information, contact Cherokee Elder Care at 918-453-5554 or visit


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