ASHTABULA — Hundreds of people waited in line early Saturday morning in hopes of receiving shoes for their children, back to school supplies, as well as fun activities for the children.
G.O. Development Corp. sponsored the event under the leadership of Frances Norman and Angie Maki-Cliff, and they served double the amount of people who participated last year, Norman said.
Norman said 624 people registered, and the organization served about 300 last year.
“They [the people] were here at 8:30 [a.m.], and we opened at 11 a.m.,” Norman said. She said a pre-registration process led to those who signed up early receiving assistance first.
Norman said issues in the economy, including inflation, have led more people to seek assistance to help their children.
By noon, there were still many people in line waiting for underwear, shoes and backpacks. Children also were treated to hot dogs, ice cream and face painting.
Angie Maki-Cliff is now helping to organize some of the G.O. Development Corp.’s bigger events. “I think the turnout is amazing,” she said while registering people to receive the assistance.
Maki-Cliff said a grant from the Morrison Foundation helped pay for shoes for the children.
Norman said the rest of the supplies came from personal donations. She credited area churches, organizations and individuals for making the event possible.
“We could not do it without them,” she said.
Theresa Steiner attended the event with her 10-year-old son Zane. “It’s nice because it is something nice for the kids, and it allows people to get some extra supplies …Money is tight,” she said.
It’s that time of year again and as the summer winds down and Ohio families start preparing for an exciting new school year, the team at G.O. Community Development Corporation along with our friends at Paramount Advantage and Z107.9 have DOUBLED OUR EFFORTS to provide children with the tools they need to succeed. On August 10th, 2019, @ 12pm we will be giving away backpacks filled with essential school supplies (while supplies last).
Many children across Ohio look forward to back-to-school shopping, where they can pick out fun and colorful supplies like folders, pencils, crayons, and even a new backpack—to start the new year fresh. Unfortunately, this can put a serious strain on many families and teachers across Ohio.
Along with a generous contribution by Paramount Advantage and Z107.9, who funded the backpacks and supplies, the staff of G.O. CDC mean to fill the gap and serve those families in need and make sure everyone starts the 2019-2020 school on the right foot.
One in every five school-age child lives in poverty, making it difficult for parents to afford these supplies. When you factor in that teachers themselves spend, on average, $578 of their own salary to fund school supplies for their classrooms each year.
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — The Commons at Towne Square Mall was filled with young people and their mentors on Sunday, as youthOPPORTUNITIES Ashtabula honored some its brightest and best participants.
YouthOPPORTUNITIES helps young people achieve their goals in education and find jobs and countless other services.
This is youthOPPORTUNITIES second year delivering services to local youth.Youth Coordinator Shaelynn Ballard welcomed students and their guests to the ceremony, who gathered to celebrate accomplishments made throughout the 2017-2018 school year.
The accomplishments included obtaining GED or a high school diploma, perfect attendance, completing skills training, program completion, completing post secondary train and military enlistment.
“This ceremony recognized over 150 students who participated in youthOPPORTUNITIES programs during the 2017-2018 school year,” Ballard said.
“We had a reception with refreshments afterwards.”She said Outstanding Student of 2018 was Sarah Wise and the student speakers included Doug Brummit, Brianna Bradley and Sarah Wise.
Guest speakers included Ashtabula County Commissioners Kathryn Whittington and JP Ducro.
Keynote speaker was CTAG Coordinator for the Ashtabula City School District and the Ashtabula County Educational Services Center Sally Bradley, she said.
“We have 603 youth participating in youthOPPORTUNITIES,” Ballard said.
“We help them develop job skills, find employment, earn GED or high school diplomas, learn to drive and all kinds of self improvement activities.
We even help homeless youth and help them get off drugs.
Our goal is to decrease the barriers they face.”She said there were 12 people on staff at youthOPPORTUNITIES and all were willing to help enrolled kids “anywhere at any time.”
“We got a lot of help finding the youth employment at businesses like Lake City Plating and Chromaflow,” she said.
“Local businesses have helped a lot of these young people achieve success.”Jeff Seth, opportunities supervisor of the youthOPPORTUNITIES program and the Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center, said it was great to have an opportunity to recognize participants for their achievements.
“We try very hard to be an all-services program,” he said.“We help them make the needed connections to achieve their goals.”Sally Bradley said the recognition the youth received was well deserved.
“YouthOPPORTUNITIES is a great opportunity for Ashtabula County to get skills and achieve goals,” she said.
“It’s a much needed resource for these young people to attain success.”Montana Proctor, a participant from Ashtabula, said she received recognition for recently being hired at Zehrco Plastics.
“I’ve been in the program for four years and I’ve taken many courses,” she said.
“It’s a really good program. They help with practically anything you can think of. They can give you work experience, a GED, financial help, legal help and support. I got my youthOPPORTUNITIES assistance through A-Tech.”
Ryan Hargrove, of Ashtabula, said he received an award for graduating form Lakeside and being self-employed.
“It’s an amazing program,” he said.
“I got help for Driver’s Education and they paid for it. They’re great people, too. When I first went in to find out about the program they introduced me to all the caseworkers.”
Darvin Watkins, of Ashtabula, said he’s been in the program two years.
“I wasn’t recognized on Sunday, but I attended the ceremony,” he said.
YouthOPPORTUNITIES always wishes you the best and tries to help you achieve your goals.”