“Table Wisdom is an awesome program! I met my mentors as well as my life-long friends here. Thanks so much for providing me with the opportunity to improve my English, broaden my horizon with American culture, network with experienced American professionals and help develop my career."
— Jing H., University of Southern California, Masters in Electrical Engineering, 2019
A Relationship that Transcends Age and Borders
Despite their different backgrounds, Table Wisdom mentor Fred and student Helen have a lot in common.
When asked what makes their weekly sessions most special, they agree it’s the content of their conversations, which focuses on a shared interest in the latest news trending around the world. Topics like politics, economics, technology and culture, they’re all on the table. Fred and Helen’s debates range from the Brexit and the FBI and Apple argument to segregation issues and migrant concerns in Germany.
And many of these topics hit close to home for Fred, a Holocaust survivor imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp before being liberated by the Russians and escaping to the United States at age 19.
Through these discussions, Fred is able to share his knowledge and his stories with Helen, and Helen is able to improve her speaking, express her opinions on complex issues and enrich her understanding. Perhaps more importantly, Fred feels valued, like he’s making an impact, and Helen tributes Fred with making her life more beautiful when she’s so far away from her home country.
Through their involvement in Table Wisdom, both Fred and Helen have formed a relationship that transcends age, nationality and circumstance – they’ve formed a friendship that will last well beyond their sessions.