Part of an ongoing promise to invest in and enrich the community, Patty Durkin, Aim Chief Human Resources Officer, Scott Fleming, Aim Co-President, and other dedicated Aim employees read with Liberty Elementary School students during weekly reading sessions. This took place as part of United Way’s Vello program during National Read Across America Week from Feb. 28 – Mar. 4.
Aim Transportation Solutions, the United Way of Youngstown, and the Mahoning Valley have worked hand-in-hand for decades to support the local community through community relief, education assistance and more. The Vello program is just one of several United Way programs Aim proudly participates in.
The United Way pioneered the Vello program as an easier route to accessible tutoring and companionship to benefit local youth. The United Way introduced Vello in 2017 has continuously worked in conjunction with local classrooms and professionals to provide in-person and virtual reading support to young students.
Although the Vello program can still be considered in its infancy, there have been significant benefits experienced on both sides of the campaign. Volunteers, ranging from high school students to local business owners, now have an easily accessible way to volunteer and positively impact children’s lives through educational support and mentorship. The young students reap the benefits of having older mentors in their lives who are actively engaged with and committed to enhancing their educations.
Aim volunteers partnered with students to read through “How to Catch a Leprechaun” by author Adam Wallace in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
“Whenever a reading session takes place, it truly is a beautiful sight to witness when these kids’ eyes light up and are overwhelmingly excited to begin their lesson with, not their educator, but a reliable adult who they know they can count on to always be there for them,” Durkin attested. “This is why Aim is truly honored to say that we are passionately involved in Vello and Read Across America Day and made a lifelong impact on these children’s lives, because the feeling is truly mutual.”
Recently, Scott Fleming and his wife, Erica Fleming, were named 2022 United Way campaign chairs. Year after year, the local non-profit organization raises millions of dollars for those in need, donates thousands of meals to hungry families and supports the educations of hundreds of students, and the Flemings will be an instrumental part of those efforts throughout the year.
If you’d like to contribute to the United Way mission, head over to www.ymvunitedway.org/volunteer to see what you can do to make a difference. Non-local residents can visit unitedway.org to find volunteering opportunities near them.