Marielle Smith gives a manicure to a Good Samaritan Society-Ambassador resident. Photo courtesy of Good Samaritan Society-Ambassador, New Hope, MN.

Marielle Smith may only be 19 years old, but she has big dreams. Being the daughter of a cosmetologist, one of them is to open her own nail salon. 

But for now, she has a significant client base at her workplace, Good Samaritan Society – Ambassador in New Hope, MN.

“When I do their nails, I can see imperfections in my work but they don’t see any,” confided Smith. “They see the beauty, the bright colors, and their eyes light up with joy. That makes me so happy and makes me feel like I’m really making a difference.”

A sample of Marielle Smith’s work as a manicurist. Photo courtesy of Good Samaritan Society – Ambassador, New Hope, MN

The teen-ager has worked at Good Samaritan since June 2021, starting as a CNA and then transitioning into the activities department while working as a health information management technician in the nursing home. 

She didn’t start painting nails until the COVID-19 pandemic but it soon became something she loved. This inspired her to apply to cosmetology school. She started painting nails for residents in December 2021 and then started giving manicures once she received her license. She maintains a rotating stable of 10 clients. Not only has she learned how to give manicures, she’s also become well-versed in facility chatter. 

“At 19, you often aren’t exposed to people who have different views. I’ve learned so much from my residents — they all have different perspectives on life and it’s taught me so much,” said Smith. “And they’re all so carefree, and silly. They don’t care what others think. It’s so refreshing.”

While Smith has learned a lot from the residents herself, she has also brought a much-welcomed younger perspective. She hopes that others like her will discover the magic of working with senior citizens. 

“I hope to inspire others to work with seniors,” said Smith. “They have so much wisdom, I think of my residents like grandparents.”