Senior citizens help Eagan, Minn. teens navigate life's ups and downs

- It can hard for teenagers to know where to turn to navigate life's ups and down, but an 87-year-old grandmother from Golden Valley, Minn. helped her grandchildren and now she's tapping some other Golden Girls to do the same for other teens.

Gretta Freeman started "Grandma Grettsy's Roundtable" with her own grandchildren when the oldest was scared to go off to college.

"In her senior class there were lots of drugs and sex and liquor eating disorders and pregnancies,” Freeman says.

Now, she hosts hour-long conversations between residents at the Commons on Marice senior living community and juniors and seniors at Eagan High School. The conversations involve no parents, no judgements and no regrets.

"We have the slogan ‘What happens at Grandma's, stays at Grandma’s,’” Freeman says.

By sharing stories about their lives, the seniors get to pass on some words of wisdom, while the teens can open up to someone who isn't a friend or family member.

"As I’ve said before, all we've got left are our memories and if someone can interject and appreciate it and use it in any way. It’s just fabulous,” Freeman says.

No topic is taboo at these meetings, the teenagers told Fox 9. 

"[The woman] have no filter whatsoever,” Anna Keller, an Eagan High School junior, says. “Everything gets talked about and sometimes you kind of look and say ok. It keeps it entertaining that's for sure."

Even though Grandma Grettsy's Roundtable is only a pilot program, Freeman says it would be a shame to stop now because they’re on a roll.

"I do nothing else but play cards with my girlfriends and this is far more fun than that,” Freeman says.

This week was supposed to be Grandma Grettsy's final roundtable, but she tells me they'll meet again next week and the group could expand the program to its other senior communities across the country.


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