Sal Gambino
Image by Sal Gambino

Sal Gambino, participant

4-H Legacy Project

The 4-H Legacy Project, was piloted during the Summer of 2020 as part of Cornell University’s Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT) program!

The BCLT program is based on decades of experience developing intergenerational programs at the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA), including on elder wisdom and advice-giving by elders to young people.

The goal of this program was to gather the wisdom of older adults so their advice for living can be passed down to future generations. The BCLT program trains youth to interview elders (ages 65 and over) about their general advice for living a happy and successful life. In addition, participating in this program, provided youth with an engaging community service experience, and exposed the youth to social science methods, including interviewing skills and techniques to interpret, analyze, and present interview data. It also allowed youth to learn about older people and aging and helped to create respect for the wisdom of age and combat ageism.

Finally, the 4-H Legacy Project (BCLT), provided youth with the opportunity to develop job-ready skills that will be useful to them in the future (e.g., interviewing, research, and public speaking skills). From the standpoint of older participants, the program provided an opportunity for elders to benefit from the experience of sharing wisdom with the young. In so doing, it may have reduced a sense of social isolation, especially during these pandemic-times and provided a sense of usefulness, increased self-esteem, and improved their attitudes toward youth.

For the past few months, 4-H Alumni/Volunteer Jon Meschino and 4-H Volunteer Deja Meschino, have been compiling all of the videos to create a Video Showcase of small segments of each of the interviews! The Final 4-H Legacy Project Video Showcase will be aired on Comcast throughout the next few months and showcased on our website.

Please view the video on our YouTube channel:   


Dena Altavilla
4-H Youth & Family Development Program Director
845-278-6738 ext. 215

Last updated January 7, 2021