Founder, Spring Sprout and Student Period Movement
16, Upper Dublin
By Lisa Dukart
Elders play a key role in Chinese families, so it’s no surprise that Joanna Lin spent a great deal of time with her grandparents. Lin took her affinity for older adults a step further by volunteering at Sunrise Senior Living, starting weekly craft sessions. “Through crafting, you can often stimulate seniors and their minds, especially those with Alzheimer’s,” says Lin, who’s a student at Germantown Friends School. “Oftentimes, they forget how to do the things they love.”
Fittingly, crafting was something Lin learned from her grandparents, who practice everything from traditional Chinese painting to paper cutting to calligraphy. At the senior center, Lin teaches brushwork, origami and self-portraiture. “I often try to test run the craft with my grandparents first,” she says.
To expand the initiative, Lin launched Spring Sprout, a website bearing the Chinese name that came from her grandparents. “My main hope is to help implement the same program at other senior homes—or just with kids anywhere so they can connect to their own grandparents,” she says. “There’s a large divide in terms of generation gaps, not only in terms of age but in terms of thoughts, ideas and connections.”
Lin also helped launch the Student Period Movement, where she and other students around the region are “working to educate people about period poverty, modernize period education and de-stigmatize the topic of mensuration,” she says.