Meet the neighbors

West High School and Melrose Meadows Retirement Community share more than just an address. From part-time jobs to service projects, they form a bridge between generations.
Melrose Meadows and West High have a great relationship with each other
Melrose Meadows and West High have a great relationship with each other
Zoe Smith

West High School and Melrose Meadows Retirement Community couldn’t be more different when it comes to age demographics; however, they manage to maintain a well-connected, neighborly relationship. From friendly conversations with servers at dinner and board games with the 1440 Interact Club to attending West High’s theater productions, the residents at Melrose Meadows make an impact on their high school neighbors.


Melrose Meadows hires almost all their servers from West High. The close proximity, convenient hours, friendly atmosphere and generous pay make working there perfect for a first job. The servers and residents enjoy chatting with each other between courses and developing meaningful relationships. 

Neveah Hoffman ’24 has been working as a server at Melrose Meadows for over two years. Her favorite thing about the job is forming friendships with the residents. 

“They’re all very sweet and it’s good to get advice or just hear stories, you know, from them,” Hoffman explained. 

She makes it a point to get to know the residents and even goes out of her way to do nice things for them. One example of this is the cards she handmade for all the residents on Easter in 2023. 

“I enjoy working with the older people because they’re good to talk to and they tell great stories,” Hoffman said. This sentiment is echoed by other servers but also applies to the residents. Melrose Meadows resident Mary Anderson enjoys chatting with the servers during mealtimes and hearing about their lives. 

Priscillia Kangni serves a resident during her dinner shift at Melrose Meadows. (Josie Schwartz )

“They’re all friendly and willing to share as much as they can with their job,” Anderson said. 

Hoffman isn’t alone in her enjoyment of friendships with the residents. Server Aseel Matar ’26 also likes to talk to the residents during dinners. 

“I like when they talk to us and give us compliments. It’s kind of nice to hear,” she said. Matar has worked at Melrose for around 9 months and has been pleased with the experience for her first job. 

It’s really nice because it’s so close and it’s a great after school job

— Neveah Hoffman '24

Hoffman originally applied at Melrose Meadows because of a connection between her family and the manager but she’s grown to appreciate the convenience of the job. 

“It’s really nice because it’s so close and it’s a great after school job. It’s nice because there’s a lot of people working here and it’s easy to take time off if we need to do things for school. They understand that because almost all the people who work here go to school at West,” Hoffman said. 

Management has adapted well to the schedules of their high school employees. They even go as far as canceling dinner on important nights for West students such as prom or homecoming.  The servers and the scheduling manager have a group chat where they directly communicate about covering shifts and missing work for school events. 

“The experience of being a waiter is kind of fun, and like, this is an entry level job, like a good first job,” Matar said. West High students have benefited for many years from the great first time job opportunities Melrose offers and Melrose rarely has problems with staffing because of the fountain of eager highschool students right next door.

1440 Interact Club:

West High’s 1440 Interact Club is a service club that often collaborates with Melrose Meadows. They do a monthly game night with the residents where the high school students and older people hang out together, chat, and play board games. 

Melrose Resident Mary Anderson plays a card game with students from City High’s Interact Club. (Eleanor Weitz)
West students Maya Mueller ’26, Katie Nims ’25 and Faizaan Ahmad ’27 play a game of Apples to Apples with some Melrose Meadows residents. (Eleanor Weitz)

“It’s such a great opportunity to play games and connect with the older generation,” Maya Mueller ’26 said. The Melrose Meadows games nights are Mueller’s favorite activity that the club is involved in. 

Recently, 1440 Interact Club members spent their meetings making personalized keychains for every resident at Melrose Meadows. The keychains were made with the residents’ walkers in mind because they often get mixed up during dinner. These keychains are a great way to tell the walkers apart while also giving the high schoolers a fun project to connect to the residents. 

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