Trumbull County United Way

Trumbull United Way Recognizes Outstanding Support at Annual Meeting

NILES, Ohio — Eleven percent of adults in Trumbull County don’t have a high school diploma, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Upon hearing that statistic one might be inclined to think the number is low and hear it as good news.

But that number doesn’t tell the whole story, said Laureen Atkins, vice president of strategic initiatives at the Literacy Cooperative, a Cleveland-based organization focused on improving literacy.

“Adult educational attainment and literacy levels show that 63% of adults in Trumbull County are not proficient in literacy,” Atkins said.

“All of this tells us that basic assessments or attainments do not properly measure reading proficiency levels.”

Atkins was the keynote speaker Thursday at the United Way of Trumbull County annual meeting and award luncheon at the Eastwood Event Centre here.

The theme of the meeting was “Read, Learn, Earn,” which Atkins said was fitting as she praised United Way’s work implementing programs that address the needs of the whole family.

Atkins said the education and literacy levels of parents are directly connected to their children’s reading levels.

“According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a mother’s reading skill is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors such as neighborhood and family income,” she said.

During the event, United Way President and CEO Ginny Pasha recapped some of the highlights of their work in 2021 and gave a preview of what’s to come in 2022.

“As I look around this room, I see a lot of our volunteers. But I also see potential volunteers,” Pasha said.

One of the biggest changes coming to the nonprofit will be a new office. Pasha said the United Way chapter has sold its building on Route 422 and will move to a new location on Harmon Avenue near the Public Library of Trumbull County.

This summer will also see United Way break ground on a story walk that will compliment the learning trail built in 2020 at Perkins Park. The installation will follow the walking path along the Mahoning River and will consist of 20 stations.

“Each station has a different page of the book,” Pasha said.

Another big change will be the departure of Sallie Daugherty, director of finance at United Way, who will retire in July.

Daugherty, who started her career at United Way in September 1982, was given a proclamation from the city of Warren that proclaimed May 26, 2022 as Sallie Daughterty Day.

The annual meeting was also an opportunity to highlight supportive community leaders during the 2021 campaign year. Awards were presented to those who “give, advocate, volunteer,” Pasha said.

Receiving the “Give Award” was Warren City Schools, where a student-led campaign raised more than $5,000 for United Way.

The “Advocate Award” was presented to the Cafaro Foundation.

Receiving the “Volunteer Award” was Howmet Aerospace.

The “Give, Advocate, Volunteer Award” was presented to Trumbull County Children Services and the “Small Business Award” was given to video production company Cinemanix.

Also recognized were members of the United Way Board of Directors whose terms are expiring. They included Esther Buschau, Cafaro Company; Matt Martin, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership; and John Rossi, Farmers Trust Co.

“Because of the people in this room, kids have access to food in the schools, kids have an opportunity for after school programs, they have mentors. Seniors have food that is delivered to their home,” Pasha said.

“I want to thank each and every one of you for allowing us to do this work with your support and your volunteerism and to ask you to commit to helping us in 2022 as we continue to work hard to meet our mission,” she said.

Pictured at top: United Way President/CEO Ginny Pasha and board chairwoman Lisa Taddei.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.