Connection
April 2017  

Signups underway for AIM golf tournament

A golfer tees off during last year's AIM Golf Tournament. Signups are underway for this year's tourney, set for Sunday, May 7, at Elmira Country Club.
 
Signups are underway for AIM's third annual Golf Tournament, set for Sunday, May 7 at Elmira Country Club.

The captain-and-crew tournament will feature the Million Dollar Shot this year. 

Any player who makes a hole-in-one during the tournament will win $2,500, and one player will be randomly selected after the tournament to take a shot to win $1 million.

The top teams will share $700 in cash prizes, and there will also be raffle prizes and door prizes. There will also be skins and closest-to-the-pin and long-drive contests.

The entry fee is $320 per team, which includes 18 holes with a cart, lunch and dinner at the country club. Proceeds support AIM's programs and services.

Registration is open  online or by downloading a  registration form and mailing it to AIM.  Incentives are available for businesses interested in sponsoring the event.  The deadline to sign up is April 14.

For more details, contact John Zick at  jzick@aimcil.com or (607) 962-8225, ext. 116. 

Horseheads students donate to AIM
AIM's Laura Leonard and her daughter Kayleigh pose for a photo with Horseheads Intermediate School sixth-grader Dakoda Howerton. Leonard talked to the students about Down syndrome. 
 
Sixth-grade students at Horseheads Intermediate School recently learned about Down syndrome and raised money to mark World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.

They gained a new perspective when AIM's Laura Leonard and her 9-year-old daughter, Kayleigh, who has Down syndrome, visited the school on March 27.

Leonard talked with two groups of Horseheads sixth-graders about Kayleigh and what it's like to raise a child with Down syndrome. She talked about how children with Down syndrome learn at their own pace and communicate in different ways.

She also talked about the many ways kids with Down syndrome are just like everybody else, and want to have friends and participate in school activities. They can eventually go to college, get a job or live independently, Leonard said.

The Horseheads students took part in Lots of Socks, wearing crazy, colorful socks to raise awareness on World Down Syndrome Day. They also did a fundraising drive, collecting approximately $400.

Inspired by Laura and Kayleigh, the students decided to donate the money to AIM, said teacher Nicole Remchuk. The donation will support AIM's programs and services for people with developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome.

Meet Our Staff: Kevan Aranda
Kevan Aranda is the coordinator of AIM's new Community Habilitation Program.

Kevan Aranda was recently hired as the coordinator of AIM's new Community Habilitation Program. He sat down to answer some questions about himself and the program.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to AIM.

A: I first realized that I wanted a career in which I would be able to help people in 2005 when I was deployed to Slidell, Louisiana, for disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina. After leaving the military, I started in this field as a part-time residential direct care worker while attending the Social Work program at Mansfield University. While working on the residential side of OPWDD services, I worked my way up through the ranks and ultimately became an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) manager. While I truly enjoyed my time working in and managing residential services, I decided that it was time to pursue something different in the field. I wanted to become more involved in the service planning and coordinating side of OPWDD services.

Q: Tell us about the Community Habilitation Program and how it helps people.

A: The Community Habilitation Program here at AIM gives consumers the tools to become more independent in many aspects of life. The Community Habilitation Program is a person-centered service that allows a consumer the opportunity to decide what skills they wish to further develop. The skill areas that can be developed through the Community Habilitation Program include social skills, community integration, cooking/food shopping skills, money management, basic hygiene skills, public transportation, and interest exploration.  

Q: What are some of the challenging aspects of the job?

A: One of the most challenging aspects of the job is assigning and scheduling a staff for an individual to work with. With this program being person-centered, the services are offered when the individual needs them, rather than what's more convenient for AIM. Another challenging aspect of the job is ensuring that the services being provided are what the individual truly needs and wants to receive.  

Q: What are some of the rewarding parts of the job?

A: The most rewarding part of the job is seeing the excitement for both the individual and the families while we are developing the service plan.  Being able to provide a platform that allows an individual to truly become more independent is what we all strive to achieve.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my son, Harrison, and my fiancĂ©e, Heather.  Harrison was born on Oct. 13 of last year, and he is our first child.  Spending time with my family has become what life is all about.  My passion is the outdoors. When I'm not at work or with my family, I can be found either on a bass boat or in the woods hunting.  I'm very excited to introduce my son to the outdoors in the near future. 

AIM has job openings
Looking for a new career opportunity?

AIM has 10 job openings posted on its website, including Transitions Specialist, OPWDD Support Broker, Medicaid Service Coordinator, NHTD/TBI Service Coordinator, health insurance Navigator, Employment Specialist, OPWDD Direct Support Professional, NY Connects Independent Living Specialist, OPWDD Self-Hire Staff and CDPAS Personal Care Assistants.

For job descriptions or to apply, click here

AIM to attend Business Expo, Volunteer Fair
AIM staff will attend several events in Schuyler County in April where people can learn about the agency's programs and services, job openings and volunteer opportunities.

We'll be at the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Expo, set for 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, at the Watkins Glen Community Center on Boat Launch Road, across from Clute Park. It's free. The expo will be followed by the Chamber's monthly After Hours Mixer at 5 p.m.

AIM will also staff the Volunteer Fair, open from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. on Monday , April 24, at the Schuyler County Human Services Complex at 323 Owego St., just off Route 14 in Montour Falls. People interested in volunteering in the community can speak with AIM and other non-profits about what opportunities are available. The Volunteer Fair is presented by Schuyler Public Health and Catholic Charities to mark National Volunteer Week.

Upcoming events
AIM's Learn and Grow Playgroup will meet from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, April 22 at the Elmira AIM office, 350 W. Church St. The playgroup is for children ages 2-8 with a developmental disability and their parents. This month's playgroup will be a Spring Fling with an Easter egg hunt and other fun activities. It will feature Music and Movement with Kelly Sidari.  

AIM's Sibshops Program, a fun and educational monthly gathering for the brothers and sisters of children with disabilities, will also meet on Saturday, April 22, at the Elmira AIM office. The program is from 10-11:30 a.m.

The HOPE Parent Support Group for parents of a child with a disability will meet from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, at the Elmira AIM office.

For more information or to RSVP to any of the events, contact Wendy Watkins at wwatkins@aimcil.com or (607) 962-8225, Ext. 223.
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