By the Vanguard Capstone Team: Delaney, Kayla, Melissa, Giao, Travis, Justin
Vanguard teamed up with Vello to support a program that our leaders felt passionate about. While working with Vello, we learned how essential it is for children to be at a proficient reading level by the end of third grade. In fact, 23% of students who are not proficient readers by the end of third grade will leave high school without a diploma, compared to only 4 percent of proficient readers. Their program provides volunteers with the opportunity to virtually connect with children and provide 1:1 reading support, giving these children the best chance for academic success – something Vanguard definitely can relate to and wants to support. The capstone project, comprised of individuals from Vanguard’s specialty programs, was a great way to align crew member (what Vanguard calls employees) strengths with a great cause.
As a member of the capstone team, I can say that we were all proud to represent such a great organization and the causes they are so passionate about. Meeting with leaders and volunteers from United Way’s Vello program was extremely rewarding. Within a few minutes it was apparent that everyone involved in the program, from the leaders to the volunteers, was passionate about giving back to the community.
Our team was chosen based upon our interests. We felt that early childhood education was pivotal to a child’s long-term success in school and in the community. Working with our youth is extremely rewarding because you get to build relationships with children and make a positive impact at an important time in their lives. Reasons such as these made United Way’s Vello program a perfect fit for everyone on our team, and it was an opportunity that our team could not pass up.
Using the skillsets we developed while participating in Vanguard’s specialty programs enabled us to work on a project that was outside of what we were normally accustomed to, and was a win for both organizations. Our team was comprised of members who worked in marketing, research, consulting, information technology, and leadership. We partnered with Vello employees on a project that utilized our skills and identified ways to increase the presence of this great volunteer program across the country.