YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Inspiring Minds group is helping the Valley’s underprivileged youth by exposing them to events and places they would normally not see. Thursday night they hosted their first major fundraiser since the COVID-19 outbreak began at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater.
Although the format of Inspiring Minds’ 15th annual fundraising gala is different from previous years, the group still hopes to raise enough money to make a difference in student lives.
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Last year, the fundraiser was just a drive-up event because of the outbreak.
This year, having their biggest event of the year out in Youngstown is a welcome sight for anyone in the group.
“It’s nice to see people’s faces, to see them interacting with our kids out here – that’s the biggest thing, it’s all about our kids,” said Jalaya Provitt, high school program coordinator.
Inspiring Minds’ mission is to show students what is possible by giving them experiences they would otherwise not be able to have.
“Our goal is to offer disadvantaged young people all possible opportunities that are available. We expose them to things that they would normally not see, ”said Provitt.
One student is Kaia Toles. She was introduced to nursing during her time at Inspiring Minds, and the group has focused her on that career goal. Now Toles is attending college in Kentucky on a full scholarship.
“I’m studying nursing. I want to start at either the Cleveland Clinic or Akron Children’s. My ultimate goal is to end up with John Hopkins. I want to do something with babies, something in the maternity ward or in the neonatal intensive care unit, ”said Toles.
Provitt is pleased with the Thursday night support from the ward and knows it will affect the lives of more children in the future.
“I just want to thank everyone who supported us. We definitely appreciate it. It goes far and we see the fruits of everyone’s labor in the smiles on our children’s faces, ”said Provitt.