Rebecca HeislerProgram Coordinator, The SAGE Center
Rebecca Heisler is a program coordinator at The SAGE Center, the country’s first municipally funded center for LGBT older adults. She focuses on arranging programming at SAGE’s main site in Chelsea, as well as at satellite sites in Queens and Staten Island. Rebecca also manages the Lifelong Learning program, an education program for the community designed to provide an enriching experience within a supportive social environment.
The SAGE Center is part of New York City’s Innovative Senior Center (ISC) program, an initiative that is giving 10 of the city’s leading aging organizations the opportunity to better serve their elder communities with creative, needs-based programming that will create models for the “senior center of the future.” Rebecca has been working to organize programs that reflect this goal while taking advantage of the rich cultural landscape that New York City provides. Rebecca volunteered with SAGE for some time before joining the staff at The SAGE Center.
Rebecca graduated cum laude, from Suffolk University in Boston, MA, where she was bitten by the human service bug. During school, Rebecca spent time working with Irish immigrants, facilitating programs to bridge gaps between Catholic and Protestant youths, volunteered in the Boston Public School system, and worked for United Cerebral Palsy.
Post-grad, Rebecca took a position working with the local Elder Services organization as a homecare social worker, and co-chair of the agency’s LGBT open door task force, which spoke to her interest in diversity issues. Her work was featured in the documentary, Gen Silent, a film about issues facing LGBT older adults living in New England, which was partially funded by SAGE. When Rebecca decided to move back home to NYC, she set her sights on working with SAGE, and in time her dream came true.
When she isn’t facilitating groundbreaking programming at The SAGE Center, Rebecca can be found plotting her next tattoo, fantasizing about vintage dresses, and cooking up a storm in Southern Brooklyn.