Los Angeles resident Stephanie L. Carter is the new executive director of the Pacific Region Oasis, an organization dedicated to the well-being of adults ages 50 and up.
In this capacity, she will lead staff and scores of volunteers in developing and implementing innovative programs to enrich the lives of mature adults in both South and West Los Angeles.
Oasis, a national education organization, operates centers in the Macy’s stores located in the Baldwin Crenshaw Mall and Westside Pavilion. Carter will manage both sites, which currently serve hundreds of people enrolled in arts, humanities, health and wellness, and technology classes.
She comes prepared to succeed in her new position. Her background includes 18 years of experience in innovative program planning, community collaboration, team building, consultation, training, research, and grant development in the academia, nonprofit, and local government sectors.
In addition, Carter served more than 10 years as a faculty member of a top-ten graduate school of social work. She’s also held various leadership positions at non-profit organizations and worked as a program and organizational development consultant to county, city, and nonprofit entities such as Oasis.
Explaining the mission of Oasis, Carter clarified, “It is not a senior center where people just come and sit with few activities. It’s much more comprehensive than that.
“We cater to people who are retiring or already retired and want to keep that level of energy and activity going in their lives in a meaningful, constructive way. Individuals are very active, they’re moving. It’s very energetic because the goal is to promote increased activity. Individuals are living longer and we want to promote healthier lives,” She said.
The broad selection of classes, taught by qualified volunteers, range from art history to film screenings to physical fitness to digital photography to day trips and excursions. Also, wellness seminars for seniors age 60 plus feature topics such as Asthma Update, Memory Enhancement, Navigating the New Health Care System and Working With Your Pharmacist.
“I think individuals would be surprised to see how much we offer, the range of programs that really meet various needs. Some individuals may be interested in taking a language class like learning French. Others may be thinking about estate planning and learning how to construct a will. People at different places in their lives may appreciate the social piece like exercise,” Carter said.
Carter hopes that more people will take advantage of the personal development and growth classes available through Oasis or even consider volunteering at a center.
“The goal is to create meaningful experiences. We want individuals to be excited and energized about participating, whether they are a member in a class or volunteering. We want them to feel like they are being valued to their full capacity in the process,” said Carter said.
As she begins her tenure, Carter added, “This is an exciting time for Oasis. I’m looking forward to taking them in a renewed direction. I think they have a great foundation and I want to build on that. I think I am walking into an organization that is well respected and I just want to help them further their goals in outreaching to more members.
“As the Crenshaw area community is redefining itself, Oasis is at the forefront of that movement to be a meaningful, viable community resource for individuals over 50.”
Oasis opens September 8, at 10 a.m., at Baldwin Hills and September 10 at 10 a.m., at Westside Pavilion. For information, call (323) 291-3414 or visit oasisnet.org to view the online catalog.