Saturday, August 20, 2022

There’s a New Face at the Senior Activity Center: Meet Andrew Burnett

It’s no secret that the Southlake Senior Activity Center is the premier recreation destination for seniors 55 and better, and that’s thanks to our world-class staff!

If you’ve visited the Senior Center lately, you may have noticed a new smiling face around, Recreation Specialist Andrew Burnett! Andrew is the newest addition to the Senior Center staff, but he’s no stranger to the Southlake Community Services Department. Andrew spent the summer as a Recreation Attendant II at Champions Club. While there, Andrew helped out with Camp Mania, mentoring kids, and creating life-long memories. He recently transitioned to the Senior Center and is ready to make his Marq there as well.

Andrew grew up in North Richland Hills and is a Public Relations student at UT Arlington. As a valued member of the Southlake family, he aspires to eventually work for the City’s Office of Marketing and Communications. For now, however, he is happy to be a part of the team that creates world-class experiences for our Seniors. One of his goals for this new position is to “leave a lasting impression on our seniors as they’ve left such a positive impression on me. They’ve given me ‘gold nuggets’ of advice and experience! I want to keep that connection I have with our seniors and bring them the most enjoyable environment they can experience.”

When asked what he loves about his job, Andrew stated that his favorite part of working at the Southlake Senior Activity Center is receiving smiles from seniors and staff. Those who know him know he’s all too happy to return the smiles as well! A man of many talents, Andrew’s hidden talents also include spinning a basketball on his finger and being able to sing the song, “Hey There Delilah” word for word!

“The City has been an amazing experience for me. Everyone I know has been so kind and helpful, and they treat me just like family. The staff and community have helped me become a better man!” Andrew Burnett.

Welcome to the Senior Center Team, Andrew! We are excited to see all the incredible things you will accomplish.

Southlake Senior Activity Center Honored for Innovative Older Adult Program During the Pandemic

The Southlake Senior Activity Center won first place in the Community Development category for the 2020 National Institute of Senior Centers Programs of Excellence with the September Senior Activity Center Parade from the National Institute of Senior Centers.

Research shows that today’s generations are divided emotionally, physically, and socially with limited learning opportunities and meaningful interactions. The Southlake Senior Activity Center constantly works to bridge the gap between seniors, the younger generations, and our community by providing innovative special events and programs. Over the past year, the Senior Activity Center continued to provide these essential services amid a physical closure due to the pandemic.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) is honoring the outstanding work of senior centers during the pandemic with the 2021 Programs of Excellence Awards. The Southlake Senior Activity Center is one of the 15 programs receiving recognition for innovative, creative, and replicable programs for adults.

The Senior Activity Center won first place in the Community Development category for the September Senior Activity Center Parade. The incredible parade was a city-wide effort that brought city leaders, community members, volunteers of all ages, and various departments together to celebrate seniors during National Senior Center Month. Seniors drove through the Senior Center parking lot while greeted by city staff and volunteers holding hand-made signs, wearing costumes, silly hats, and happy faces. Southlake seniors received close to 150 prepacked hot meals that day.

A national committee of senior center professionals chooses the Programs of Excellence recipients each year. This year, awards were given in eight categories:

  • Community Development, Leadership, and Intergenerational
  • Cultural
  • Fundraising
  • Health and Wellness
  • Nutrition
  • Technology
  • Virtual Innovations
  • Social Isolation

“To be recognized nationally by the prestigious NCOA / NISC in the field of aging adults and senior centers is tremendously rewarding. The challenges brought by the pandemic in the last year made us more aware of the value and importance we have in the lives of our senior community. Programming, outreach, and providing opportunities for connection are ways the Senior Center serves the Southlake community. To have the privilege of serving our senior community is an honor beyond what words could express,” Soheila Phelps, Senior Cervices Coordinator.

For more information about the Senior Activity Center and its programs, visit https://www.experiencesouthlaketexas.com/196/Senior-Activity-Center.

Congratulations to the Senior Activity Center and its world-class staff and volunteers for their continued hard work in bringing seniors and the Southlake community together.