LIMA — Allen/Lima Leadership youth program connects high school students with community organizations so they can learn first-hand about organization that make Lima, Lima.
The sessions hosted by ALL on Friday were divided into three groups – health, financial stability and education.
At the Bradfield Community Center the students heard from The Bradfield Center about a healthy you and community. Senior Citizens Services shared information about their arthritis aquatics and Rock Steady Boxing which is a program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Students also heard about prevention awareness support services and mental health first aid.
Students then moved from Bradfield Community Center to the West Ohio Food Bank. There they learned about the operations of the West Ohio Food Bank. At the food bank students heard from Chief Operating Officer Wayne Steed about the difficulty in acquiring food. From January to July there were 185 food deliveries cancelled by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Students learned about how the West Ohio food bank provides 2500 bags of food for students to take for the weekend. The ALL students packed bags with enough food for a weekend to be distributed to students in need later this month.
The students also learned about Goodwill. It’s not just a thrift store. Goodwill’s mission is to help individuals with disabilities and others facing barriers to employment. Goodwill offers multiple programs to help individuals reach their full potential and increase their self-sufficiency. Goodwill provides services for job placement and training. Where there is a need, Goodwill will either fulfill the need or refer individuals to resources so that they might sustain their own lifestyle.
Students learned that non-profits are not in competition with each other. They all work together.
Maria Pignataro summarized the experiences, “It has really opened my eyes to the community and the problems that we face. Sometimes I feel like kids my age don’t know all that really goes on. So it’s really opened my eyes.”
Melania Badea agreed, “I think it’s really influential. I just want to be more aware of the problems that people are feeling. I feel that this helps me be more aware.”
At the end of the day, students completed an exercise in which they had to make decisions about the allocation of funds to various organizations.
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409