While researching volunteer opportunities in her community, something caught Faizah Osman’s eye: a REST Companion training course that was being offered through the Stanislaus County Aging and Veterans Services in California.

The opportunity sounded like a perfect fit, she recalled. “I was inspired to take the class after seeing a video about the elderly – how many of them are lonely and lack opportunities to socialize,” Faizah said.

Since completing the REST course six months ago, Faizah, a college student, provides respite care for several families.

“It has been a rewarding experience,” she said. “I enjoy hanging out with my care receivers while their caregivers take a break.”

Faizah has a special relationship with one of her care receivers, a retired librarian, whom she sees each Friday.

“We have the same personality traits,” Faizah said. “We enjoy doing crafts together. We discovered we have a lot in common, despite our age difference.”

Faizah credits the REST training for preparing her to serve. “The training was really thorough,” she said. “It provided the tools I needed to properly handle a variety of situations. We also learned about innovative ways to adapt activities to fit care receivers’ needs and abilities.”