Celebrating Senior Learning Stories

Celebrating Senior Learning Stories: Senior Adults Generating Eloquence (SAGEs)

A Lorain County Community College writing initiative


Winners of the SAGEs essay contest were (from left) Rita Haessly of Oberlin, Johnnie Broeckel of Sheffield Lake and Lila McGinnis of Elyria.
Twenty four area senior citizens participated in the Senior Adult Generating Eloquence (SAGEs) essay program at LCCC. Three were named winners for their efforts in writing an essay that answered the question “What is the most significant learning experience of your lifetime.” The winners received a $1,000 award during a short program Thursday, May 6.

The winners are: Johnnie Broeckel for “Reflections at Sixty”; Rita Haessly for “Finding Color”; and Lila McGinnis for “At the Time.”

“Despite the fact that senior citizens are our most valuable resource in terms of expertise, wisdom, and the capacity to mentor, their life accomplishments remain vastly under-recognized and under-acknowledged,” said LCCC English Professor Kevin Hoskinson. Hoskinson created and coordinated the SAGEs program.

According to 2008 census figures, 13.5 % of the Lorain County population, or roughly 41,000 people, are 65 years of age or older. The SAGEs program attempts to provide a forum for the unique and rich learning stories of this group.

Winning Essays

Author  Title
Johnnie Broeckel Reflections at Sixty
Rita Haessly Finding Color
Lila McGinnis One, Above All

SAGEs Program Essay Submissions

Author  Title
Cathryn Bacon The Best Thing
John Brattoli A Twist of Fate
Margaret Christian Metamorphosis of Madness
Mauris Emeka This Experience Profoundly Changed Me
Jane Hannauer Dr. Holbrook
Muriel Harrison Crash Course Number 1929
Marianne Hill Flight 486
Elmer Kozich A Poignant Reflection on Mortality
William McFadden A Teacher's Impact
Margie McGinnis At the Time
Jean Mihu The Girl I Left Behind Me
Anne Nehoda The Juggernaut
Paul Oncley Music and Science
Mary Porter Sad Times of My Life, but Now Happy
Helen Schaefer My Most Significant Learning Experience
Ruth Shaeffer
The Most Significant Learning Experience of My Life
(includes In Memoriam and Dedication)
John Smink Life Lesson
Charles Startup For Joshua on His First Birthday
Maureen Stipe What One Experience Has Profoundly Changed Me?
Betty White Stand on His Promises


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