Perkins Joins Senior Center as Assistant Director
Bryan Perkins joins the Senior Center as Assistant Director in September with the departure of Linda Sottile, whose move to South Carolina to enjoy her grandkids left a vacancy in the Center’s staff. But Perkins has the drive, experience and enthusiasm to assume the challenging role.
Perkins left Boston’s Friendship Works, a small non-profit elder service organization, where he was Senior Program Coordinator/Manager for the past 7 years. From the beginning of his work with elders, employment with the Council on Aging has been his goal. While at Friendship Works, Perkins created partnerships, developed programs, secured grant funding, worked with city legislation, and found ways to meet the diverse needs of the elder community.
“I’ve always been interested in seniors,” said Perkins. “I lost my grandparents, and my parents are in their late 60’s. I know of my mom’s mom’s isolation and wondered, ‘What can I do?’” After working for a time with refugee and immigrant teens throughout the State, Perkins realized that was not what he wanted to do. He traveled and taught for a time overseas.
“The idea of creative programming, especially during COVID,” tempted Perkins. He also knew from meeting Linda Marshall, Director of the Senior Center, that he’d be “working under someone who shared my compassion for others.” He is excited to have the professional opportunity to grow and learn here in Holliston. “I was working with a different demographic in Boston. They were more frail seniors.”
Perkins’ new role meant relocation from his former Quincy home. Now settled in Framingham, Perkins says, “I’m learning as much as I can. By the end of October, I hope to have a grip on the newsletter and all the volunteer organizations.” He gives credit to Marshall and Marty Schneier, Outreach and Transportation Coordinator, for helping in his transition. “Working with them is a joy. But it’s also lonely as no one’s coming in [to the Senior Center], Perkins said. Additionally, he was able to spend multiple mornings on Zoom with Sottile to grasp the challenges before him. “I’m taking one day at a time.”
A recent event for seniors, Concert in the Car, provided Perkins with encouragement to use creativity to reach seniors during COVID times. The afternoon event showcased “funky music,” according to Perkins, and provided attendees a box lunch and a different place to be. “People really liked it,” said Perkins. Spending time learning of the Center’s programs—and learning what they used to look like as well as how they now occur—has taken much time. “It’s a double load of information,” Perkins said. But he quickly enumerated many of the programs now operating on Zoom—like Pilates and yoga—as well as exercise programs broadcast by HCAT. Services like SHINE and visits with attorneys are still available, and a Christmas yard sale and Halloween trick or treat event are planned for October.
The Center has purchased an electronic tablet and a tripod that will provide another option for reaching out to Holliston’s senior population. Perkins is presently exploring options for Zumba classes, formerly very popular when the Center was open, with instructor Lourdes Fournier. For instructors lacking instruction delivery space and/or Zoom capability, broadcasting from the Senior Center may be an attractive option.
In addition to the Senior Newsletter, Perkins will maintain the website. He loves programming and voiced his interest in chatting with others about their ideas, too. He looks forward to working with the instructors, to creating new programs, and simply to meeting with and talking to people. Why not reach out to him? You’ll be glad you did.
To get in touch with Bryan Perkins, call 508.429.0662 (Ext. 218), or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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