The Perfect Addition to Lifestyle Transitions


Three sophomores at Emmett O’Brien Technical School in Ansonia, Kylie Johannessen, Christopher Kulas and Travis Hunter, visited Lifestyle Transitions at Wesley Village in Shelton last week to deliver a very special gift. The students had designed and built a raised planter bed for the specialized assisted living and memory support community.

The students worked efficiency and strategically to perfect their project, in hopes to win a popular statewide competition. “In our school, there’s a club called SkillsUSA and it is all competition based. We thought it would be a great idea to do a competition that’s community service based, so my group came up with many different ideas, but this planter was actually the first one we thought of,” explains Kulas. Instead of volunteering their time, the team was focused on creating something homemade.  

When reflecting on the process, Kulas says, “First, we had to find all the materials and luckily, we were able to use free, brand new, refurbished wood that had been left over from a house that was built.” Then, the students gathered nuts, bolts and soil for their project and after finalizing their plan, got to work building.

Laughingly, the group admits, “It wasn’t always easy trying to build this. We had some challenges.” The planter took five hours to build, but the finished product is beautiful.

If their project is selected as the statewide winner, the students will travel to Louisville, Kentucky in June to the national competition where 19,000 attendees are expected.

“It’s the perfect addition to our expanding community! The residents are already excited to start planting!” exclaims Monika Westerdal, Executive Director of Lifestyle Transitions.

Lifestyle Transitions, located on the Wesley Village senior living campus in Shelton, offers specialized assisted living in a secure, supportive environment for those living with memory loss. The senior living community is expanding and will soon offer 20 new resident apartments. If interested in learning more about this innovative program, contact Lisa Bisson at 203-225-5024.

Photo Caption: (L to R) Emmett O’Brien Technical School Students Christopher Kulas, Kylie Johannessen, Travis Hunter, Lifestyle Transitions Executive Director Monika Westerdal and Community Resident Ellen Ivanovich.