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Michigan Volunteers Attend AARP College

They numbered 100 strong and attended classes on everything from investment fraud to public speaking.

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They were AARP Michigan volunteers spending an intensive two days at AARP College, a volunteer training summit, held this year at Eagle Crest Resort in Ypsilanti in May.

Participants had a full course schedule, designed to help them be the best volunteers they can be.

“The weekend was all about volunteer engagement. It was a great success,” said Robert Kolt, AARP Michigan State President.

Here’s a sampling:

  • Volunteers learned how to become a fraud fighter against investment fraud and scams.
  • Mitchell Bean, a veteran economist, informed attendees about the ins and outs of the state budget and tax policy.
  • Jacqueline Morrison, State Director of AARP Michigan, and Kolt chatted informally with volunteers at a couple of coffee klatches.
  • Kolt, who runs his own public relations firm, taught volunteers how to improve their public speaking.
  • The AARP Michigan communications team spoke with participants about how to handle the media and to engage in social networking.
  • The advocacy team imparted lessons on helping to give 50-and-older Michiganders an effective voice in local, state and federal issues.

And Steve Griffin, AARP field manager, gave volunteers an early peek at You’ve Earned a Say Phase II. During the lively, hour-long discussion about options for strengthening Social Security, each table of participants debated a specific option and then shared their thoughts with the entire group.

Volunteer Delphine Palkowski said the session pointed to the need for an extensive conversation about retirement and health security issues.

“These are among the most involved, active people out there and they had so much misinformation,” she said.

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