Vanessa joined the Michigan State University chapter of Perfect Pair as a freshman in 2022 and shortly after was matched with Janet. Vanessa immediately loved being paired with Janet and quickly learned about Janet’s love and incredible talent for making art. Although long conversations could be challenging, the
two bonded through art by painting flower pots, drawing holiday-themed canvases, and using leaves as stamps – all while listening to jazz, their favorite music. One of Vanessa’s favorite memories with Janet was helping her make an art project for her son’s birthday. Using leaves and paint, they made stamps on canvas and cards. Vanessa was inspired by watching Janet use her talent to make a present for a loved one.
The pair also deepened their relationship through their love of travel. Reflecting on their conversations, Vanessa says, “Her eyes would light up when remembering trips she had taken a long time ago, and I loved hearing about them.” To stay connected to their interests in both art and travel, the pair
would take online virtual tours of different countries and tourist attractions around the world, including many art museums.
Janet taught Vanessa the importance of being herself. Janet could always be found wearing a bright fuchsia blouse that matched her brightly colored hair and nails. Vanessa reflects, “I always felt that even when expressing herself through words became more difficult, she had a magnificent ability to express herself through art.”
Vanessa is incredibly grateful for her time paired with Janet. “Perfect Pair is such an amazing opportunity for both college students and older adults. The social interaction and lessons learned through conversations with your pair are invaluable.”