Wells Fargo Shares in Vello’s Success

08/01/2019, By Valley of the Sun United Way


Reading is a skill that allows us to become prosperous adults. Unfortunately, too few of us are given the opportunity to have a good education. Many kids are born into poverty and lack the resources to learn to read. Today in Arizona, less than 50% of students are proficiently reading at their grade level, meaning that over half of students are likely to drop out of high school and not reach their full potential.

United Way’s Vello one-on-one Tutoring Program has the power to break that cycle. Research shows that having one or more caring adults in a child’s life increases the likelihood that they will flourish and become productive adults themselves. Vello is proving that when we provide kids with one-on-one guiding reading tutors for 60 minutes each week, we transform reading outcomes and create deeper community connections between volunteers and their community.

Derek, a Wells Fargo District Banking Manager, has been inspired by Vello. He describes reading as “one of the absolute most important skills a child can have.” He believes in Vello’s impact on kids. “I think about them joining an online tutoring program and how many applicable life skills that gives them - interacting with an adult professional, video conferencing...those kinds of skills that will put them ahead beyond just reading...I think it’s an incredible experience.”

Vello tutoring creates a huge impact not only for tutored students, but also for the volunteer tutors themselves. Cynthia, a Wells Fargo Branch Manager, has been a Vello tutor for almost two years. She shares that, “Once you read with that first child, I think that’s when my heart dropped. Being able to connect with a kid that I personally don’t know but I know needs some more guidance with reading and being able to help them is a huge difference maker.”

Cynthia found Vello to be an easy, effective way of volunteering. “The initial startup was not complicated one bit,” she described. Her experience has been very rewarding ever since. “It turned out to be a beautiful experience for both of us to be able to be there for these kids who don’t have the privilege of growing up with strong reading guidance.” Cynthia believes in the magic of Vello. “If we can grow our participation and continue to make a difference for just each week, I think it will make a huge impact on these kids.”

Thank you Wells Fargo for being such an important partner to us in Maricopa County schools and giving kids have a greater opportunity to succeed by sponsoring Vello classrooms both locally and with your other locations in Philadelphia, El Paso, Brownsville, and Milwaukee. Your support and volunteers make a huge difference to students.

If you want to get your company involved, contact us at vello@vsuw.org to sponsor a Vello classroom and offer this volunteer experience to your employees today.

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