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Appalachian State Student Working to Help Older Adults Get the Most Out of Life

Rising senior Andrew Behm, a communication studies major, is honing his college coursework by practicing public relations with North Carolina’s largest consumer organization AARP.

AARP is a national, non-profit organization that enhances the quality of life of the population as they age.  Although AARP members are adults over the age of 50, much of the work they do will effect generations to come.

For many young people, AARP seems like it does not have much to offer based on their concentration on the older population, but Andrew begs to differ.  “Much of the work that AARP does has an effect on my generation.  For example, AARPNC is fighting against a proposed utility rate hikes by Duke Energy and Progress Energy.  Duke’s current proposal will raised rates an average of $14 per household each month. For college students $14 is no small change.”

Behm added, “AARPNC has also helped deter a bill that would have allowed for auto insurance rates to go unregulated leading to much higher premiums.  I feel it is important to keep insurance rates low for younger drivers who need transportation to get to school and their jobs.”

As a communications major at Appalachian, Andrew has learned a lot that will help him in his internship, like writing press releases and how to use communications tactics to promote public policy.  He hopes to build on these skills during his time at AARP where he will get to work with professionals in the field and gain first-hand experience.

“Andrew will help awaken a younger generation who will benefit the most from the policies lawmakers enact today,” said AARP State Director Doug Dickerson.  “As older adults begin to communicate through social media more, Andrew will influence the work that we do,” he said.


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