OHS Sophomore Shares Passion for the Elderly with the World
Orange High School sophomore Jacob Cramer will participate in his second "TED Talk" on October 16th at Cleveland State University, discussing age-related prejudices against the elderly and young. "TED" is a non-profit organization devoted to sharing ideas and concepts in the form of short, powerful talks. The program begin 30 years ago as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged.
In July, Cramer was invited to speak at a TEDx event in Cincinnati about his international letter-writing project "Love for the Elderly." After his grandfather passed away, Cramer started volunteering in nursing homes where he "realized how many problems there were with neglection and isolation of the elderly and wanted to do something constructive that could benefit the elderly and really make an impact." Cramer begin a letter-writing campaign and in less than two years has received more than 10-thousand letters from all across the globe including six continents and 45 countries that Cramer has forwarded on to nursing homes around the country.
"I think everyone should utilize the opportunity of giving back because it is so easy. Especially through my organization, it's as simple as writing a letter, so if you have that opportunity, just go for it," Cramer said.
Most recently, Cramer, who has been mentored by Gifted Teacher Kathy Frazier, had the opportunity to discuss his work with Orange Schools Board of Education members.
"I enjoy working with Jacob so much. He is creative and committed to making a difference for the elderly in nursing homes," Frazier noted. "I am impressed with his passion and the personal time he spends making global connections through social media. His leadership and communications skills are excellent. He has touched so many people with his compassion."
A member of the OHS Marching Lion Band, Cross Country team, and Project Support, the AP student'sfull schedule hasn't prevented him from expanding his organization. Cramer wants to see his letter-writing campaign continue to grow and hopes to one day create "A Wish Factory"-- an opportunity for elderly people to fulfill something on their 'bucket list' through grants from the various foundations that Cramer has partnered with including Home Hero and The Pollination Project. This past summer Cramer received second place in the 2015 Future Problem Solving International Community Problem Solving category, with thousands of students from around the world competing for the title.
The TED Talk remains a highlight.
"It was so amazing. It was a wonderful experience," Cramer said. "It was just so cool being able to share my experiences and my passion and my organization with everyone who was there. And now that the video is on line, it's amazing that I can share that incredible experience with everyone."