When her employer, Affordable Interior Systems Inc (AIS), moved to downtown Leominster a few years ago, Diane Encarnacao immediately began looking for opportunities for AIS to give back to the community.
Fortunately, Encarnacao did not have to look far, as she soon connected with the United Way’s Volunteer Center, which was in need of a pilot company to participate in Partnering for Literacy, a program that supports the United Way’s Early Childhood Literacy initiative by bringing in volunteers to provide academic and social support for kindergarten students at the Priest Street School in Leominster.
AIS became the program’s Corporate Partner in 2017. Since then, Encarnacao has been instrumental in recruiting AIS employees and has also served as a mentor herself.
“AIS is very community-oriented, and it was gratifying to see that they would let employees leave during work hours to act as mentors,” says Encarnacao.
She notes that the program has garnered high praise from the Leominster public school system, as well as its many participants.
“The students like it, the teachers appreciate it, and it’s very rewarding for the volunteers,” says Encarnacao. “For me personally, it’s so heartwarming to know I’m helping children gain a passion to read and desire to do well in school.”