Residents with radiant faces and dressed in graduation attire were recently honored at an “Achievement Ceremony” at The Palace Gardens, an assisted living and memory care community in Homestead.
The 21 residents were graduating from the first Lifelong Learning class offered by Miami Dade College of Homestead at the retirement community. Residents have been studying Beginning Spanish with instructor Maria Robart, who has been coming to The Palace Gardens twice a week for seven weeks. Students ages ranged from 69 to 95 and they were committed to the class, understanding they needed to attend each of the classes as well as practice their homework.
“We are so excited for them,” said Susana Vela, program director of Miami Dade College. “This truly is an example of lifelong learning and it’s wonderful that The Palace is bringing this opportunity to their residents.”
The Palace Gardens provided each student a cap and gown and arranged for a deejay to be on hand to play a rendition of “Pomp and Circumstance” for the celebration.
During the ceremony, each student was introduced to the audience and had an opportunity to say a few words in Spanish. In unison they exclaimed, “It’s never too late to learn something new.”
Irma Capelliti’s daughter, Debbie Gomez, took off from work to see her mom graduate.
“Participating in this program has been fabulous for her memory,” Gomez said. “Mom speaks Spanish, but due to her dementia, she may have forgotten many words. The class has helped spark her memory and it’s very gratifying seeing her relearning Spanish words and phrases. I wanted to be supportive and see her graduate.”
The Palace Gardens recently relocated to a new location across from Baptist Health’s Homestead Hospital off Campbell Drive. The community offers residents a full range of activities and events that combine educational, spiritual, social and physical activities. Palace communities are known for providing residents a variety of choices and a lifestyle that greatly improves residents’ experiences.
The Palace Group, owners and operators of The Palace Gardens, has a partnership with the University of Miami’s Osher School of Lifelong Long Learning for their communities in Kendall and Coral
Gables. Collaborating with Miami Dade College of Homestead will bring similar educational opportunities to residents.
To learn more about The Palace Gardens, tour the community or attend an educational event, call 305-247-0446 or visit http://thepalace.org/palace-gardens.html.