Spotlight on #TeamPSI

This Summer we’ve been thinking about all the amazing people that make up #TeamPSI and we have some GREAT stories to spotlight!  We are excited to share the incredible talent and achievements of our staff members who continue to make PSI a great place to work. Here’s a glimpse of how #TeamPSI is making a difference:

HUGE shoutout to Tom Craine, PSI TESOL Teacher, Summer YOUniversity teacher and organizer of Black Beanz Dance Crew, an Akron dance group of African refugees. Most of the students in Black Beanz are from West Africa and attended Yard Corps (a Shanti Community Farms Summer Work Program). While teaching here, Tom noticed some students needed direction when they were distracted in classes – and the answer was African dance.

The result has been a wild success! The Black Beanz have been in the Top 10 Teen Dance Groups in Ohio since 2021, performed at many local and statewide events and even travelled as far as California, New York and New Mexico! In April 2023 they were awarded a Golden Ticket from the world renowned dance competition, World of Dance. Way to go Tom and the Black Beanz Dance Crew, what a success story!

HUGE shoutout to Melissa Marano who has developed “Internet Safety” and “Social Media” safety tips in Olmsted Falls. She received a 2023 grant for $1,000 for anything related to internet safety for 4th and 5th graders and their families. She also designed a fridge magnet that the families can use to “alert” them of important safety tools to help keep our kids safe from online predators and other important information – see below!

Melissa is a true community steward and has been able to help many families in many different ways… we are very thankful to have her on #TeamPSI! Here are more great events that Melissa has been able to organize:

  • Olmsted Falls giving tree– helping “those in need during the holidays” over 100 students provided every year with toys/clothes and gift cards; since 2019.
  • Charlotte’s Closet– Melissa and April Palmer collect “in-kind donations/new” clothing and hygiene items (ages 4-18) in collaboration with Olmsted Falls Community Center.
  • Monthly meetings with 5 of our community partners to discuss the needs of the community to help struggling families.
  • Melissa has helped three families who needed to leave Ukraine abruptly with nothing but a backpack of personal items on them. All of their needs were provided for while a community church was able to provide them with a temporary home.

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