Connect with us


College Students in South Florida Are ‘Grandkids’ for Hire

Seniors love it.



Once Andrew Parker’s grandfather was diagnosed with dementia, his grandmother needed a little extra help taking care of him, so he decided to hire a college student to help her out.

“I said, ‘Hey, can you go hang out with my grandfather and make him a sandwich or something? I’ll pay you, let’s see how it goes,” Parker recalled.

The idea was a huge success, as both Parker’s grandfather and grandmother loved having someone else around. This got Parker thinking. In January, the 30-year-old Miami resident launched a business called Papa, named after his grandfather.

The company’s slogan is “Grandkids On-Demand”, as it connects students in South Florida with seniors so they can help them out with basic chores, run errands, or just hang out.

“We are specifically a service that links two generations. Our emphasis is this is a really fun day for a senior. Someone who might say, ‘I don’t want to bother my daughter or son but I want someone who can be with me for a day so I don’t have to annoy my kids,’ ” Parker said.

Currently, the company has around 250 members who pay a monthly fee of $15 to $30 to remain a member, and pay $15 per hour for visits by their Papa Pals. To qualify, Papa Pals must be enrolled in a four-year college, or be working on a master’s degree, a social work degree, or a nursing or medical degree, as well as having a four door car and passing a background check. The company specifically looks for students for people with empathy, patience and the ability to create intriguing conversation.

“The biggest thing we’re focusing on is curing loneliness,” Parker said. “If a senior calls, they’re not calling and saying, ‘I’m lonely.’ But what starts as a visit to a doctor or a grocery store can go from a two-hour visit to a ten-hour visit.”

Seniors might go to the park, the mall, or sit on the beach with a Papa Pal. The visits usually lasts three hours, but can potentially go for up to ten hours.

As of today, the service is only available in Florida, but Parker intends to expand his business to 10 more states next year.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Gigi Foster is a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She's a midfielder on the women's soccer team and is studying ocean sciences.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government1 week ago

New Year, New Laws for 2019

New year means new laws.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality2 weeks ago

Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker of the House

Democrats continued to control the House on Thursday by electing Nancy Pelosi who returned to be the first woman to...

by , Mercy College
Government2 weeks ago

The House to Approve Legislation of Reopening of the Government

Late Thursday night, the new Democratic House passed bills that would reopen the government without paying for Trump’s border wall....

by , Mercy College
Government2 weeks ago

Elizabeth Warren Announces She is Running for President in 2020

On New Years Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts, announced that she will become a candidate to enter the 2020...

by , Mercy College
Government3 weeks ago

Senator Elizabeth Warren Wants to Create a Public Option for Generic Drugs

The Massachusetts senator wants to take on big pharma.

by , The Catholic American University
Art1 month ago

Movie Review: Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

The Mexican director's latest reflects the modern state of the human experience.

by , The Catholic American University
Environment1 month ago

California Mandates All New Public Transit Buses Go Electric by 2029

The Golden State wants their buses more greener on the roads.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

New York Governor Cuomo Pushes for Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in 2019

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will be pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in 2019, according to...

by , Mercy College

Top Reads