Jack Slotnick walks to class with textbooks in hand, stopping to greet classmates who recognize him from across Perper Plaza. He sports a navy Lynn University T-shirt tucked into khaki pants and would easily blend in with the student body here, except for one trait: Jack Slotnick is 86 years old.
Slotnick hasn’t let his age stand in the way of pursuing his dreams at Lynn. As a graduate student, he traveled to Bali on a J-Term trip to visit and work in an orphanage plagued by poverty.
As a war veteran Slotnick witnessed sorrow, anguish and death first-hand, but his experiences on the front lines had not prepared him for what he encountered in Bali. At the sight of a room filled with smiling, parentless children with no beds to sleep on, he lost it.
“I became emotionally out of control and had to hide away to regain my composure,” he said.
The children, despite their hardships, were full of life, showing affection to their foreign visitors and gratitude for the supplies they brought with them.
“A pencil is the equivalent to a diamond ring there,” Slotnick said. His mission, at 86, became clear.
Toward the end of the trip, Slotnick began planning an effort to bring awareness to Lynn about the conditions at the orphanage. He’s asking fellow students to give $2 to a fund that he hopes can send four Balinese children to college and provide beds to the kids at the orphanage.