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December 19, 2006 > Quest for seniors at Chabot College

Quest for seniors at Chabot College

by Charlotte Flowers-Weston

On any Tuesday or Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. you can find Connie Silva in room C-2737at Chabot College where she has been for the past 13 years, doing something she truly loves and enjoys, teaching line dancing to a classroom filled with seniors ages 55 to 80. "I absolutely love it. It's good for their health. It's good for their mind. It's good for their body," said Silva.

Tap Dancing and Line Dancing are just a few of the classes offered by the Quest program to seniors, designed to meet the needs and interests of older adults.

Lupe' Ortiz has served as coordinator for Quest for the past 5 years and finds it enlightening to work with the senior citizens. According to Ortiz, the program has been in existence at the college for about 20 years. He says the college came up with the idea to offer classes to seniors, age 55 and older, who have contributed to the community. Many of them are retired. "It is really a unique program because the classes are geared towards the age group of the seniors. There are over 20 classes. Some classes are held at nursing homes, San Leandro Health Care Center, and Salem Lutheran Homes," said Ortiz.

Other classes offered through Quest include Creative Writing, Computer Skills, Art, Physical Fitness, and Water Exercise. Classes are located on campus and off-campus locations in Hayward, Castro Valley and San Leandro. Water exercise is said to be the most popular of all the classes offered. It is held at the boys club at the San Leandro Marina. "A lot of them are so energetic and full of life, I can't keep up with them." said Ortiz.

Ortiz who also teaches American History at Chabot College says it is fulfilling to see the seniors so dedicated. "I'm glad the college is committed to the program over the years. It's a great program we can always count on our seniors to participate in. And they put in their time so they are entitled to these kinds of services. From time to time the seniors have bequeathed money to the college, the program itself, and that is how we keep the program running."

On December 19 at 1 p.m., Quest will host its annual Holiday Variety Show, in the Main Theater at Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward. It is FREE, and everyone is welcomed. There will be a buffet for seniors paid by seniors who have donated money in the past.

For more information about Quest view their website at

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