Glamorous Grandmas

GlamourGals gives pedicures to fight senior isolation

Sophomore+Sri+Koya+gives+a+Delmar+Gardens+South+resident+a+manicure.

Sophomore Sri Koya gives a Delmar Gardens South resident a manicure.

The national organization “GlamourGals” has reached South High, making a difference in elders’ lives. 

This organization has been gathering high school and college students since 2000, to bring joy to elders in retirement homes. The leaders Bhavya Koya junior, Srivalli Koya sophomore, Grace Portuese junior, and Iniya Swaminathan junior have been the main leaders since 2020 and started the club at South. 

Bhavya, club president, explains the club.

GlamourGals is a national non-profit organization that has many chapters in different high schools and universities across the U.S. My older sister was the president of the NYU chapter, and so I was introduced to GlamourGals through her. Hearing about her experiences with running a club and getting to form connections with seniors inspired me to start a chapter at Parkway South,” said Bhavya. 

Bhavya explains that the club goes to local nursing homes to give manicures to the residents. 

“While doing this, we also get to chat and bond with seniors who don’t always get to interact with many people,” she said. 

When COVID struck the organization had to shift from in-person visits to making letters, cards, and bracelets for the residents.

“I was disappointed that we could no longer visit the senior residents, but it forced me to find new ways to stay connected with them. It meant a lot to me that we were able to contribute to making a senior’s day, especially since they were one of the most vulnerable and isolated populations,” said Bhavya. 

Srivalli, the vice president, explains her role.

“My official role as vice president is to plan one special event a year for the seniors at the nursing home to enjoy, but due to COVID, we’ve had to work around what our roles usually entail,” said Srivalli. 

Srivalli says that they are slowly being able to go back into retirement homes. She also talks about service hours. 

I help relay club opportunities to the volunteers and ensure that each member’s hours are logged. This allows volunteers to gain community service as well as the Intergenerational Service Award. This is given by the GlamourGals organization to volunteers after they’ve completed a certain number of service hours,” she said. 

Iniya Swaminathan, the social media manager, talks about her experience with the club. 

“I think my favorite part about the club is just the overall positivity it tries to promote,” said Swaminathan. 

She says that it makes her feel good to give up time for someone else and she likes to make the seniors feel good. She also says it has changed her high school experience. 

While GlamourGals are all business they also have heart-touching moments.

“One time I was giving a manicure and the woman started talking about how her family does not visit her. It is nice that we go out to show love to these residents,” said Portuese.