Two TU students sing for their room and board

TULSA, Okla. — Jordan Demetriades is a junior music student at the University of Tulsa. She moved into the Montereau retirement community in August – where she sings for her room and board — as part of the university’s partnership with the community to encourage inter-generational relationships and diversity of community.

“I was actually worried at first that I would miss out on on-campus activities or being around my peers,” Demetriades said, “I missed out on my first year of my college experience because of COVID.”

But, she said she gets that peer interaction all day in her classes on campus and living in a retirement community doesn’t have the typical college parties. “Correct. Yes, I am definitely more of what you would say — an old soul,” Demetriades said, “I don’t really like to party. You can find me curled up with a book anywhere. So, I definitely do not miss the noise.”

Demetriades said she comes home to friendly faces and lots of conversations – more than among her own peers. “And sometimes, it’s a ‘Hey, go out there and chase your dreams,” she said, “It kind of depends on the day.” Having an older generation speak wisdom into her life is something she said she has missed.

“Especially because my grandma passed away suddenly last semester,” Demetriades said, “So it’s just been really sweet to have people be able to speak into my life in that same way.”

Demetriades and her classmate Madyson Mitchell sang in a concert for the residents at Montereau on Thursday night and the residents say their singing was very professional.

Julius Stevak is a retired oil services professional who lives at Montereau and attended the concert. “They’re a couple of real talented young ladies and I just hope we don’t teach them too many bad habits here,” Stevak said with a laugh.

Demetriades and Mitchell, these residents say, remind them of their own families. Carolyn Snively worked as a teacher for 2 years and then raised a family of 3 children. “I hope they’re enjoying it. We do,” Snively said of Demetriades and Mitchell, “All of us, I think, have children and grandchildren their age and feel like we could pretty well visit with them.”