Upward Bound students gives back by helping the elderly

For Barney Rankin of Jefferson County, his sole purpose for showing the elderly a good time is to brighten their lives by giving them the chance to enjoy their golden years.

“We try to enhance their living and give them a reminder of how life was for them before they entered the nursing home,” said Rankin, who is the activity director at the Jefferson County Nursing Home in Fayette, Miss.

The senior students in the Upward Bound Summer Program came out on a sunny, 80-degree Wednesday morning to assist the elderly of the Jefferson County Nursing Home catch fish in the pond located on Alcorn’s Lorman campus. The students helped the elderly bait their hooks, cast their reels and bring the fish onto land.

The fishing trip was one of two monthly trips that the nursing home allows their tenants to go on. The nursing home also takes their tenants to church, sporting events, and on lunch outings.

Rankin expressed his pleasure with the kindness of the high school seniors’ willingness to help out.

“We requested that the students of Upward Bound help us and that’s exactly what they did. We really appreciate what they have done for us.”

Upward Bound Biology instructor Larry Wesley enjoyed seeing the youngsters interact with older people.

“It’s always a good feeling when the young and elderly come together. These kids bring energy to the lives of the seniors. Everyone had a good time,” said Wesley.

Kayla McMorris from Natchez was thrilled to help the senior citizens cast their reels in the pond.

“It feels great to get out of class and help out the elderly,” said McMorris.

Kirkston Green, who’s also from Natchez, felt grateful for the opportunity to bring joy into the lives of the elderly.

“It is an honor to help them. Hopefully our helping them will make them happy and add longevity to their lives,” said Green.