Geriatric Career Development (GCD)

The Next Generation of Healthcare Professionals

Since 2006, the Geriatric Career Development (GCD) Program of The New Jewish Home has supported at-risk New York City youth in pursuit of careers in healthcare. GCD is shaping the next generation of higher-quality, more culturally competent healthcare professionals while generating excitement and enthusiasm for career opportunities in healthcare serving older adults.

Youth participants are fully immersed into the long-term-care setting and provide more than 8000 hours of companionship, activities and clinical care to older adults each year. The comprehensive and contextualized curriculum trains young people to appreciate and nurture the holistic older adult including the needs of the mind, body and spirit at all stages of life.

GCD_student_patientThe capstone experience of this college and career readiness program is certification in an allied health pathway. Participants can earn state and/or national licensers as Home Health Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), Phlebotomy Technicians, Electrocardiography Technicians, Generations United Program of DistinctionPatient Care Technicians, and Medical Coding & Billing Specialists.

GCD has been named an intergenerational Program of Distinction by Generations United.

Program Goals

  • Advance the academic and career development of youth participants through an in-depth work-based learning program in a geriatric long-term healthcare setting.
  • Address the shortage of allied health professionals and contribute to the future healthcare workforce, especially in geriatrics, by exposing students to allied healthcare professions and issues in aging and promoting the development of skills necessary for employment.
  • Surround older adults at The New Jewish Home with the energy and passion of youth, increase spontaneity and social events offered to older adults, and provide older adults with a unique opportunity to play a meaningful role in the life of a young person through mentoring and one-on-one activities.

Student Objectives

  • High school graduation or equivalency
  • Increase knowledge of types of careers available within a health system
  • Obtain skills and training to become certified in an allied healthcare profession
  • Upon completion of the program, enrollment in a post-secondary program and/or be employed in the healthcare system

Questions about GCD? Email us today. You can also learn more about GCD by visiting their Facebook page.


The New Jewish Home and GCD are grateful for the funding  provided by:

The Achelis and Bodman Foundation
Altman Foundation

Phyllis Backer Foundation, Inc.
David Berg Foundation

The J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation
Carl Marks Foundation
The John P. & Constance A. Curran Charitable

George Link Jr. Foundation, Inc.
Hagedorn Fund
Hyde and Watson Foundation
Pinkerton Foundation
Price Family Foundation
Rudin Foundation
Shippy Foundation
UJA-Federation Teen Council
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
NYC Council Member Mark Levine
NYC Speaker of the New York City Council
Melissa Mark Viverito

NYC HRA Work Progress Program
NYS DOH Child Nutrition Reimbursement
NYS Education Department 21st Century Community
Learning Centers
What Do GCD Students Say?

Coming into this internship, I did not know what was ahead of me. Throughout this journey, I stepped out of my comfort zone and was able to obtain skills that will further my health/science career.

Not many people can say they are a Certified Nursing Assistant, at the age of 16, and certified in CPR at the age of 15. GCD made me realize the different aspects of life and going about your career. They truly showed an interest in my life and they helped me every step of the way.

Sonia M.

GCD, to me, means a safe zone area where you can be yourself and learn new things every day. Learning to socialize with my mates helped me learn new things because the more people you talk to, the more you learn. It felt really good too.

I see GCD as my family. I enjoy GCD; they really try to help you as much as they possibly can, and you never know when you’ll need their help in the future. I’m grateful for experiencing my first internship with GCD. I was provided with unforgettable memories that have and will continue to benefit my future.

Sherlyng P.

Joining GCD has been the best decision I have made in my life thus far. I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career until I joined GCD. Not only did I explore many careers, but I also found the right path for my future.

I had never thought that becoming a CNA and PCT while being in High School was possible. Also, I am now going to college with a fixed career goal to become a Nurse Practitioner. GCD has shaped me and my future.

Somaiya B.

Being a member of the program for three years enabled me to grow immensely. I am now positive that I want pursue a career in the medical field. Volunteering in a nursing home and interacting with the elderly helped me to realize that my life will always be meaningful if I devote myself to helping others.

I now know how to act in professional settings. The experiences and knowledge I am walking away with will make me a stronger candidate for any future position.

Shande G.

GCD has changed my life significantly and I’m thankful. I already knew I wanted work in a health-related field, but I had no idea exactly where I wanted to be. GCD provided me a broad insight into the healthcare system. It helped me understand the amount of dedication and energy it takes to take care of someone who is dependent on your support.

This program has helped me become more mature, understand time management and also helped me receive my CNA certification. This is just the beginning of my path to success.

Yvette A.

GCD has changed my life in so many ways. It has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and become more social with the people I meet along the way in life. It has also helped advance my career in the medical field by providing me with the opportunity to participate in CNA, EKG, Phlebotomy, and PCT certifications.

Plus, they supported me throughout my college application process. I am grateful to have received opportunities such as the ones provided to me by the GCD program.

Jimmy P.

GCD has helped me prepare for my future by giving me the chance to take the Certified Nurse Assistant course. Now, I have some experience in the nursing field which will help me get a job and move ahead in the future. I was also taught how to write my resume and other professional skills which will prepare me for any interview I will have.

I have also been given the opportunity take the Patient Care Technician (PCT ) class which gives me EKG Technician, Phlebotomy, and Patient Care Technician credentials.

Fatoumata S.

GCD has prepared me for the future in the best way possible. It has given me vibrant exposure and opportunities I won’t take for granted. I have had experiences while volunteering at The New Jewish Home and I gained medical/ethical knowledge from the seniors and nurses. I was also able to obtain certifications which I will use in the future.

As a senior, I can say GCD has given me a better understanding of what I want to do in the future, and that is supporting others, in the best way possible, by helping to maintain their health and happiness.

Luxmi S.

GCD has prepared me for the future. I was able to take my first step into the medical field by becoming certified as a CNA and PCT. When I fulfill my dream of being a doctor, I will be able to say that I have worked my way from the bottom to the top.

GCD’s vocational program provided me with experience in patient interaction, infection control, and skilled nursing facility protocol. Additionally, it helped to reaffirm my belief that people are more than their illnesses or flaws. They are all individuals deserving of love and care.

Fatoumata D.

I learned about life, health careers, and compassion from the staff and my mentors. I have also discovered a new personality in myself. I am friendlier, my communication skills have improved, and I care for those not related to me, and more. I have gained my certification as a CNA.

Having this certification makes me a feel like a special person in my family because my Aunties come up to me, now, to find out more information about CNAs. My mentor, Robert, was like a grandfather to me. I was so devastated when I found out about Robert’s passing; I went home that day crying. I will never forget about Robert, may he rest in peace. I am truly thankful to have been part of the GCD program.

Ramata F.

In such a short time, I built bonds and become emotionally attached to both the residents and my supervisor. I learned a lot and after the 5 weeks it just reassured me; I know this is what I want to do. The geriatric community is who I want to help, and I know this is where I belong.

My supervisor gave me a gift today to say I was doing a good job and she appreciated having me, which boosted my confidence even more. So I want to say thank you for this opportunity, your patience and words of wisdom. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you !

Rhajahnae R.

Interested in finding out more about us? Please call or email John Cruz, GCD Director.

(212) 870-4759
120 West 106th St, New York, New York (map view)

GCD on Facebook

STUDENT: High School GCD (2016)
Jimmy Perpina

“Stay committed; this program will help you in the long run. My family is very proud.”

STUDENT: Older Youth GCD
Tianaa Watson

“I see all of the beautiful elders. My staff members are perfect; phenomenal motivators. They won’t let you give up.”

FUNDER: Pinkerton Foundation
Laurie Dien

“GCD is such a unique grantee of ours. It’s the most supportive and all-encompassing program. The outcomes get better every year.”

PARTNER: Stanley M. Isaacs Center
Gregory Morris

“The support is consistent and thoughtful so they get the coaching they need to be successful… I hope the GCD program, going forward, can influence other cities.”

RESIDENT: The New Jewish Home
Dominga M.

“The kids from GCD help us in many ways. They call me their mentor. I love them very much.”