Not Just What They Do, But Who They Are
Michelle was born and raised in Aliquippa. She lived in Pittsburgh for a few years, but then returned to Aliquippa where she lives with her children, Chad and Margo. When Aliquippa Impact first started out, members handed out fliers and talked to people in their neighborhood, explaining what the organization was. This is how Michelle first learned about AI. Now both of her children are involved in the various programs. Chad participates in youth group, is part of Steve Rossi’s cohort, and meets with a mentor on Fridays. He also attended AI’s summer camp until he reached the age limit. Now his younger sister, Margo, goes to the summer camp and has a mentor of her own.
Michelle’s favorite Aliquippa Impact program is the one-on-one mentoring. She says, “That’s one of the best programs they have. It’s like the Big Brother Big Sister program, except to me its better. It’s more involved. It’s been a blessing for my kids to be a part of that.” She also likes that her children are taught how to respect others. “Home is where they learn this first, but they learn even more about this in the programs.”
What Michelle values most in life are God and her children. She wants Chad and Margo to be secure and have a good education. AI’s programs have given them many opportunities to learn. Chad and Margo get to test out a variety of activities that they never thought they would be interested in. Michelle recalls some of her kids’ favorite activities, from baking and cooking to building handmade airplanes. For Michelle, what makes AI a wonderful ministry is not based solely on the opportunities it provides. She says, “It’s not just the things they do for them, it’s who they are, what they teach my kids.”
Chad is currently a 6th grader at Aliquippa Elementary School. When he’s not shooting hoops with the school’s basketball team, he enjoys riding his bike and being a part of AI’s programs. The best lesson he’s learned so far as part of the cohort is how to set goals for the future. His personal goal is to learn to speak in another language, preferably French.
Chad has been a part of Steve’s cohort for about a year now. He comments, “I like spending time with Mr. Joel and the other Impact people in the cohort.” Michelle agrees, “They are wonderful, great Christian people, trustworthy, and great role models for my son.”