Crossing Paths is an intergenerational discussion program that brings small groups of teens and older adults together once per week for meaningful, thought-provoking discussions on topics like school, family, service, leadership, college, and careers. Adult volunteers are able to share their life experiences, provide encouragement, and make connections with youth. Students are able to hear the perspectives of an older generation and work on communication skills by sharing their own experiences and aspirations.

Each session, there is time for all participants to reflect on the discussion of the day and think about what they have learned about themselves that they will carry into the future to help create their own paths and work towards their goals.

ETA’s Crossing Paths projects take place in many different settings, but they all bring older adults and young people together to:

  • Get beyond chit chat and have meaningful conversations with each other over time

  • Learn about each other’s lived experiences in different generations and cultures

  • Gain perspective on history and hope for the future 

Get Started!

Adults age 50+, complete our volunteer application to join ETA’s Crossing Paths Volunteer Corps and get notifications about upcoming groups.

Groups leaders (youth or older adult), contact us directly for information about bringing Crossing Paths to your group.

What to Expect

  • Each Crossing Paths program is approximately 7 weeks long, including one volunteer orientation and 6 interactive sessions with teens.
  • We offer groups in the Fall (Oct-Dec), Winter (Jan-March), and Spring (March-May).
  • Each weekly session consists of an approx. hour-long joint discussion, and a quick volunteer debrief (timing may be adjusted as needed)
  • Groups are held in person. At this time, we do not offer groups that meet exclusively over Zoom/online.
  • ETA staff are present at all sessions.
  • We work with student groups ranging from 4 to 30+ students, but conversations take place in small subgroups of 2 adults and 3-5 students.
  • Groups are consistent from week to week, to help you get to know each other and deepen the conversation.
Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement

Crossing Paths