Connection
October 2016  
New Elmira office to open Oct. 17

AIM's new Elmira office, located at 350 W. Church St., will open at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 17.

AIM will close its current Elmira office at the Economic Opportunity Program building on Baldwin Street at noon on Friday, Oct. 14.

AIM bought its own building - located two blocks west of Langdon Plaza and Wisner Park on West Church Street - this summer.

Some minor renovations have been done over the past few months, including a new HVAC system and an accessible bathroom. The 4,000-square-foot office space has been remodeled.  Outside, landscaping and parking lot improvements were done.

The staffing and programs at the new office will remain the same as the current Elmira office. Also, AIM's Learn and Grow Playgroup and Sibshops programs will be held at the new office, which will be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays.
Get costumes ready for Allies in Disguise

AIM's fall fundraiser, Allies in Disguise, is just around the corner.
 
The 5K run and mile walk will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at Craig Park in Painted Post, rain or shine. Check-in and day-of registration begin at 9 a.m. 
 
Registration is open online, and the entry fee is $20 per person, with discounts for families. Children 5 and younger will be allowed to participate for free and don't have to register. The entry fee includes an Allies in Disguise T-shirt.

Those who register by Oct. 24 will be entered into a raffle for a $100 Wegmans gift card. 
 
For more information, contact John Zick at jzick@aimcil.com or 962-8225, ext. 116. 
Consumer story: Meet Shawna Rorie
Q: How were you introduced to AIM?
A: I was working with ACCES-VR while in high school, and when I started looking for a place to live on my own, they recommended I contact someone from AIM to help with applications. Wendy (an employee of AIM) had been coming to my school for a while to give talks about the transitions program for students that AIM offers, and I started working with her in 2012. She helped me fill out applications and showed me a few apartments. Once I found a place to live, she helped me apply for assistance to pay for it. Once I graduated high school, I started working with Skyler (an employment specialist at AIM) to find a job.
 
Q: How did you find the process of looking for a job?
A: I couldn't have asked for a better job coach than Skyler. The process started with us discussing what kind of employment I was interested in. Working in retail wasn't a big interest of mine, but I was willing to try my hand at anything. Skyler helped me fill out applications for various job openings in the area, and then we did a few practice interviews to get me used to the process. I have cerebral palsy, and one thing I would say to someone with a disability who is looking for employment is not to get discouraged. There are certain places that won't even give you a chance to prove what you're capable, which can be disappointing, especially for someone like me who is eager to work hard and has already been able to accomplish a lot of my goals. Eventually, the position as receptionist at AIM's Elmira office became available, and I was able to apply, interview and accept the job that was offered to me.
 
Q: What do you like about your job?
 A: I love helping the individuals who come into the office. They all come in for different reasons, needing different things, and I like pointing them in the right direction, and knowing that I'm helping them get the services they need. I've always wanted a job that made a difference and changed people's lives, and I feel like I'm doing that now.
 
Q: What are some goals you have for the future?
A: I want to get my driver's license next. A driving school in Rochester has a hand-controlled vehicle that I would need to take the test on, so I'm currently in the process of working out a way to get to Rochester often enough to practice in their vehicle, with the goal of taking the test and getting my license in the coming year.
A fond farewell

AIM would like to thank Barbara Squires for her years of service on the agency's board of directors. Barb recently stepped down from her position on the board.

Barb joined AIM's board in 2007. During part of her tenure, Barb served as treasurer.  Barb has played an integral role in AIM's growth over recent years. Her expertise and dedication will be missed.

An accountant by trade, Barb has worked in several professional financial settings, but she may be best known as an associate professor at Corning Community College.

Thank you, Barb!

Anyone interested in joining AIM's board should contact Executive Director Rene' Snyder at  rene@aimcil.com or 962-8225, ext. 117.

In the community

A newly designed dock that will make it easier for people with disabilities to launch kayaks and canoes will be installed at Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva next year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week.
 
The new dock will provide two slips with overhead grab bars to enhance stability for people while entering and exiting the vessel. One of the two slips also has a hinged ramp in the water to better hold the vessel in place before launching, as well as a low-scale stair that will allow wheelchair users to lower themselves into the boat.
 
Several other state parks, including Green Lakes State Park near Syracuse and Buffalo Harbor State Park, are getting similar docks to expand access to outdoor recreation as part of the state's NY Parks 2020 initiative. 
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