You are never too old to learn, a statement Kathleen Arnold lives by.
Kathleen has always been filled with curiosity of the world around her and has a passion for learning. She also says she must be an old soul because she has always felt a connection with the older generation. Luckily for her, she was able to create a career out of combining the two. She created a lifelong learning program business where she travels to different senior living communities and provides educational lectures on various topics.
Arnold grew up as an Air Force “brat” and traveled the world before settling in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1968. She would go on to graduate from college and work for the federal government in Washington D.C. and Denver. After retiring from the U.S. General Accountability Office as a supervisory management analyst, Kathleen found her calling volunteering as an educator in senior communities throughout the Denver area.
She first found a special comradery and comfort with seniors in 2004 after attending her father’s WWII Bomb Group reunion. Kathleen made an immediate connection to the veterans of the Greatest Generation and volunteered as a group board member and group historian. She also began volunteering at a local nursing home that eventually turned into a part-time position as the activities director where she focused on the lifelong learning program. There she would develop educational presentations based on certain topics and teach the residents. She poured a lot of herself and passion into these programs and ended up doing so well that other communities would reach out asking her to come teach their residents.
In 2014, Kathleen decided this would be a great career and took the work full-time as her own business. She now travels and teaches at 20 different communities in the Colorado area. One of them being our very own Cherry Creek Retirement Village in Aurora, Colorado.
Throughout the years, Kathleen has created at least 150 presentations ranging in wildly various topics. When deciding on a topic to cover, she likes to focus on a subject that is interesting and out of the box. She loves when a resident comes up to her after a lecture thanking her for teaching them something they never knew before. Kathleen puts so much passion into these presentations that she will spend up to thirty hours researching the topic.
“If somebody leaves there thinking of a new memory or new knowledge,” Kathleen says, “then I feel like I have done something in their life - enriched their life more than when they came in. That is very rewarding for me.”
What would be some of her favorite topics that she’s done, you might ask? She says she has no favorites but a few do stick out.
She found Normal Rockwell to be quite interesting. “It is a very revealing program:” Kathleen says, “about his personality that people didn’t know before.” She has also done a presentation on Presidential first ladies, past and present.
Kathleen has been teaching her program at Cherry Creek monthly for over two years. The residents love when Arnold shows up. There is always such a huge crowd, and the feedback has been excellent.