Sally Newman

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The Youth In Service To Elders (YISTE) Program was developed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to meet some of the psychosocial needs of the frail elderly and young student volunteers. The objectives were to promote positive interactions between these groups, to improve the psychosocial well-being of the frail elderly, and to improve the student volunteers' feelings about themselves and about aging. This paper describes the YISTE program and its evaluation. The program sequence was recruitment of youth and elders, training of youth participants, supervision of the youth and elder participants, recognition, and evaluation. Two distinctive features of the program were the involvement of a full-time YISTE coordinator and a comprehensive and structured program to train volunteers and their corresponding agencies. During the 1984/85 program year, 300 frail elders and 250 students interacted in a variety of environments and activities. The evaluations for the 1984/85 program year indicated that positive outcomes were obtained for both groups.