Students across the country can travel through time and change lives. Interview a grandparent or grandfriend about
their life experiences to enter the Legacy Project’s national Listen to a Life Essay Contest and win a Lenovo
ThinkCentre computer. The Legacy Project also offers schools free online resources for building closer connections
Now in its 13th year, the Listen to a Life Contest changes lives and communities. When they hear the real-life
stories of older adults, young people become more aware of the lifetime ahead of them, their own dreams and
goals, and what’s needed to achieve goals and overcome obstacles. Listening to a life also develops 21st Century
learning skills and builds vital connections across generations in a largely age-segregated society where family
members can live great distances apart. For older adults, meaningful connections with the young help support a
longer, healthier life.
Legacy Project Chair Susan V. Bosak has made it her mission to connect generations in a way she believes can
transform the world we live in. “Generations are a living time perspective,” says Bosak. “When you bring young and
old together, you complete the circle. This contest gives young people and older adults the motivation to talk. As more
people live longer, they can be a tremendous resource to enrich young lives and create a legacy to change the future.”
13-year-old Kyle Macdowell from Arlington, TX agrees. He says, “I see my grandma a lot, but not until this contest
did I really realize who she is. I never knew about her background or what struggles she has had. I learned a lot.”
Teacher Laura Yerou in Albany, NY, says, “What a positive and memorable experience this has been for myself and
so many of my students. Student after student gained tremendous insights about how to live a good life, and what
it means to grow up and older. Additionally, an increased respect for our elders was developed by so many of my
Lori Halbison, a teacher in Higley, AZ, says, “I can’t tell you how many thank you’s I received from parents just
because they learned more about the grandparent interviewed and it was valuable for the whole family.”
To enter the Listen to a Life Contest, young people 8-18 years interview a grandparent or grandfriend 50 years or
older about the older person’s hopes and goals through their life, how they achieved their goals and overcame
obstacles, or key life experiences. The young person then writes a 300-word essay based on the interview.
The Grand Prize Timeless Award is a Lenovo ThinkCentre computer. 10 Legacy Award winners receive a keepsake
timepiece from Expressions of Time. All winners receive a framed award certificate from Frame USA and a specially
autographed copy of the award-winning book “Dream: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes” about time,
legacies, and dreams across a lifetime. And winning essays become part of the Legacy Project’s online Legacy
Library, recording life wisdom to send a message into the future.
“The best gift you can give someone,” sums up Bosak, “is to really listen to who they are and what they’re about.
That’s the same whether you’re younger or older.”
The Listen to a Life Contest deadline is March 22, 2013.
To get free online life interview tips and questions, Across Generations activities, and the complete Listen to a Life
Contest details, visit www.legacyproject.org.