Emily Pennington (left), a senior Mass Media and Strategic Communications student at UT Martin, presented a program about her personal platform of “Embracing the Elderly” when she spoke at the Feb.15 Kiwanis meeting. Emily is involved in the Miss Tennesse Volunteer organization as Miss Northwest Tennessee, and she will compete for the title of Miss Tennessee Volunteer in July. Emily defined the term “elder orphan” as an individual who is over the age of 65 and is either socially or physically isolated with no family member or surrogate family member to provide support. She explained that the elder orphan population is increasing with the aging of the Baby Boomers generation and that, according to the PHI advocacy and research group, in 2028 there will be an estimated 59,000 openings in Tennessee for home health and personal care aides. She said that since 2017, Embracing the Elderly, her service-oriented initiative, has provided more than 19,00 items to nursing home across the state of Tennessee and spent more than 1,000 hours inside nursing homes. She encouraged everyone to contact local facilities to assess needs, to give emotional support whenever possible, to spread awareness about the needs of the elderly, and to consider donating to Embracing the Elderly. She is pictured here with Ann Gathers, president of the Martin Kiwanis Club.