American Institute Donates $10,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters

West Hartford, CT— On Friday, October 10th, 2014, American Institute presented Andy Fleischmann, President and CEO of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, with a check for $10,000. The funds will be shared among each of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies where American Institute schools are located, in addition to supporting the national organization, as part of American Institute’s ongoing commitment to making a positive difference in the communities where we work and live. American Institute has locations in Toms River, NJ, Clifton, NJ, and Margate, FL, in addition to the West Hartford, CT main campus.

Each campus held multiple fundraising events throughout the summer to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, as the premier charity partner of American Institute for 2014, raising almost $2,500 from these direct efforts. The company then chose to bring the overall total to $10,000 in honor of all the ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ throughout our American Institute family.

American Institute Presents Check to Big Brothers Big Sisters

Said Chief Operating Officer, Christopher Coutts, “We are so proud of our students, faculty, and staff who took part in the company-wide challenge to support Big Brothers Big Sisters this summer. Many of our students and their families either know someone or have directly benefitted themselves from the Big Brothers Big Sisters efforts, and we’re delighted to be able to raise awareness as well as funds on their behalf.”

“We’re so happy to have the support of American Institute as a first year partner raising funds for our mission,” said Charleston Edwards, VP of National Events and Sponsorship. “The funds raised in these communities will greatly impact the odds for at-risk youth in the need of a mentor.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. With nearly 340 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves more than 500,000 youth, their families and volunteers. Learn more at www.BigBrothersBigSisters.org.

Toms River and Clifton Celebrate EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week

July 21, 2014, Toms River, NJ and Clifton, NJ - Each year massage therapists and bodyworkers nationwide lend their hearts and hands to raise awareness of the benefits of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies during EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week. This year that fell July 13-19, and Toms River and Clifton massage therapy students and faculty joined in and raised not only awareness about the benefits of massage, but also about a great cause.

Each campus hosted a Massage-A-Thon, welcoming walk-ins and appointments to help raise funds for donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Institute’s premier charity partner for 2014. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country, to help at-risk children succeed and thrive. American Institute is proud to support this effort in each of our communities this year.

Toms River Campus Supports Sleep Out for Homeless Kids

HarborHouse

June 6, 2014, Toms River, NJ- Each year across the country there are an estimated 1.6 million homeless youth.

On June 6th, our Toms River campus helped support them for one night at the Harbor House Sleep Out event, raising $1,000 for this important cause.

In Ocean and Monmouth Counties, there are an estimated 300 homeless kids; many are running away from abusive homes, violent situations, drug stricken family members, or the death of their guardian. American Institute showed the homeless kids of Harbor House that they are not invisible, and that they are not alone.

American Institute Sponsors 2014 Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade

June 1, 2014, Hartford, CT- For the second year, American Institute was a proud sponsor of this year’s Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival del Coqui on Sunday, June 1st. The parade is dedicated to social engagement, community building and cultural enrichment, all values that American Institute embraces. Over 50,000 people from around the region gathered at Bushnell Park this year to celebrate the sensational influences that Puerto Rican heritage has on society as a whole. Our team rode in the parade, cheered on by excited students and staff of the West Hartford campus. We also had a table in the parade, where we distributed cold water bottles and stress balls to all who came by. Everyone who attended had a great time enjoying music and festivities, while celebrating Puerto Rican heritage, and we look forward to next year’s parade.

West Hartford Walks in CT Breast Health Initiative Race in the Park

May 11, 2013, West Hartford, CT- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.* The CT Breast Health Initiative is one of many organizations striving to change this frightening statistic. Their mission is to make a difference locally in the fight against breast cancer through education and research.

West Hartford Campus supports Race In the Park

One way that they fund much of their efforts is the CT Breast Health Initiative 2013 Race in the Park, and American Institute West Hartford was pleased to have a team of students and staff walk in the race again this year. Thousands joined together to honor survivors, remember loved ones, celebrate life and most importantly, raise vital funds for the fight against breast cancer in Connecticut. All of the money that the CT Breast Health Initiative raises stays in Connecticut, making this a great partnership for American Institute and supporting our core value of local community service.

* http://ctbhi.org/about-us/breast-cancer-statistics

American Institute Clifton Sponsors Ball of Oranges

May 3, 2014, Clifton, NJ- As many communities continue to suffer the loss of their hospitals due to financial difficulties, it is increasingly important that individuals do their part in supporting their favorite local hospitals.

As a local community provider of health care career training, American Institute was proud to be given an opportunity to support East Orange General Hospital in sponsoring their Orange Ball, an evening-long gala.

Each year, The Foundation for East Orange General Hospital hosts two Signature Events that provide substantial funding for patient care and treatment, one being the Ball of the Oranges. All funds raised benefit the many vital programs and services that the East Orange General Hospital provides for the community as one of New Jersey’s essential hospitals and American Institute Clifton is proud to have been a part of the event.

American Institute Toms River Blood Drive

Donating blood in Toms River, NJ

Donating blood in Toms River, NJ

April 9, 2014, Toms River, NJ- Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10% actually do each year.* Our Toms River campus was able to provide support for this effort by hosting a blood drive with the Blood Center of New Jersey. When an individual is struck with illness or suffers an accident, a blood transfusion can save his or her life, and must already be available to have a positive impact.

The Blood Center of New Jersey supplies over 100,000 blood products annually to the hospitals and medical centers of New Jersey, but there is always a need for more help. At the American Institute Blood Drive in Toms River, 26 individuals successfully donated. We are thrilled that we reached our goal for this event, and are proud of each and every donor for doing what he or she could to help save a life.

*American Red Cross

American Institute Supports Autism Speaks

April 2, 2014, West Hartford, CT- This year, American Institute West Hartford has chosen Autism Speaks as one of the key recipients of their fundraising efforts. Light It Up Blue is a unique global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month by helping raise awareness about autism, and the campus was decked out in blue with blue lanterns glowing at the front desk and blue balloons covered the halls, and students joined in by contributing a couple dollars to wear blue jeans and as much blue flair as possible. Funds were also raised by raffling off a beautiful Vera Bradley tote filled with women’s accessories, donated by Kim Voket, DMS Program Director. Congratulations to the raffle winner Rosie Paban, a student in the Medical Assisting program! Through our efforts, we are proud that we raised over $200 for Autism Speaks so far, and look forward to supporting the cause further. Kim Colbert, Campus President, said “The school has really showed its support for this cause, and we are very happy to be part of it.”

‘Embrace your Difference’ at American Institute

Ms. Garner speaking to our students and staff in West Hartford

Ms. Garner speaking to our students and staff in West Hartford

February 19, 2014, West Hartford, CT – On Wednesday, American Institute invited author, therapist, life coach, and motivational speaker, Venice R. Garner, to share tips and strategies for building self-esteem and motivating yourself with our students and staff in West Hartford. Ms. Garner shared 12 tips to help with self-esteem, including:

  1. Stop comparing yourself with other people. There will always be some people who have more than you and some who have less.
  2. Whether speaking about your appearance, your career, your relationships, your financial situation, or any aspect of your life, avoid self-deprecating comments. You can’t develop high self-esteem if you repeat negative phrases about yourself and your abilities.
  3. Accept compliments with a ‘thank you.’ Rejecting a compliment is a message to yourself that you’re not worthy of praise, but it is so easy to brush a compliment off with ‘It was nothing’ instead of accepting it.
  4. Use affirmations to enhance your self-esteem; write out a positive statement such as “I am a valuable, lovable person and deserve the best in life.” on a business card or index card and keep it with you. Repeat it frequently and allow yourself to feel positive when you think it.
  5. Take advantage of opportunities to build self-esteem and motivate yourself, whether it is workshops, books, etc. Whatever material you allow to dominate your mind will eventually take root and impact your behavior, so be sure it is positive.
  6. Associate with positive, supportive people. When you are accepted and encouraged, you feel better about yourself and are in an environment that allows you to raise your self-esteem.
  7. Keep a list of your successes – even if others might view them as ‘minor’ (like learning to skate, graduating from high school, etc.). Read this list often, and use it as an opportunity to recreate the feelings of satisfaction and joy you experienced when you first achieved each success.
  8. Make a list of your positive qualities – are you honest? Unselfish? Helpful? Creative? Be generous with yourself and write down at least 20 positive qualities. Again, it’s important to review this list often. Many people dwell on their inadequacies and then question why their life isn’t turning out like they would like it to. Start focusing on your positive traits and you’ll be more likely to achieve what you desire.
  9. Give more. When you do things for others, you are making a positive contribution to the world and you begin to feel more valuable, which in turn lifts your spirits and raises your self-esteem.
  10. Get involved in work and activities you love. Self-esteem thrives when you are engaged in work and activities that you enjoy and make you feel valuable, whether it is a hobby or your primary career.
  11. Be true to yourself. Live your own life, not the life others may have decided is best for you. If you are making decisions based on getting approval from others, you aren’t being true to yourself and your self-esteem is lowered.
  12. Take action! Don’t sit on the sidelines, get going and strive to meet the challenges before you. When you take action – regardless of the ensuing result – you feel better about yourself.

Kim Colbert, Campus President, shared, “Ms. Garner’s message today about building self-esteem was really perfect for our student body. Many of us struggle with self-esteem issues on a daily basis, affecting the ways in which we deal with life’s crises and how we are or are not able to move forward and find success in our lives. Building self-esteem and gaining self-confidence are such important aspects of taking on a totally new career and training for that career. Ms. Garner spoke about several strategies for building up one’s self-esteem, and I believe her message was loud and clear, and exactly what our students wanted and needed to hear.”

Ms. Garner shared a personal story about how a guidance counselor in her high school had advised her to get her GED instead of completing the regular diploma after a particularly tumultuous freshman year due to some severe health challenges. She was able to turn that into motivation to overcome her challenges, and ended up not only graduating but going on to get two bachelor degrees from Lincoln University, PA in Journalism and Human Services, and received her Master’s In Clinical Social Work Degree at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work. She even published her first book of poetry, “Because I am Different” at the age of 21!

She has also launched a website (www.EmbraceYourDifference.com) to support and encourage others in their journey. Ms. Garner, a Bronx, NY native, and had this to say about today’s visit, “Coming to the American Institute today was refreshing and delightful! The students there were very reflective, asked good questions and gave good feedback. The environment was warm and inviting, and the message of positivity seemed to pass through everyone. I hope the students received as much out of the message as I did speaking with them.”

American Institute Clifton Hosts Blood Drive

January 2014, Clifton, NJ- Every two seconds, someone in the United States is in need of blood. Blood cannot be manufactured; it can only come from generous donors. Hosting blood drives is the main way of assuring that those who are in need of blood receive it, and our Clifton campus hosted the Blood Center of New Jersey for a blood drive in January.

More than 70,000 people in the U.S are affected by the sickle cell disease and 1,000 of these are babies born with the disease. People who have this disease require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives, and will not survive if they do not receive these transfusions. Over 9 million Americans donate every year, and this is what keeps these people alive; we’re proud that our Clifton team can be part of helping those in this great cause.

On a snowy & blustery day, 27 people came out to donate blood at our Clifton campus. These 27 individuals helped give people in need another chance at life, and we cannot thank them enough. Admissions Representative, Theresa Baretto, stated,“This was a great turn-out and I’m so happy everyone was able to donate despite the weather.”

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American Institute Donates $10,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters

West Hartford, CT— On Friday, October 10th, 2014, American Institute presented Andy Fleischmann, President and CEO of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, with a check for $10,000. The funds will be shared among each of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies where American Institute schools are located, in addition to supporting the national organization, […]

Read more...

Toms River and Clifton Celebrate EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week

July 21, 2014, Toms River, NJ and Clifton, NJ – Each year massage therapists and bodyworkers nationwide lend their hearts and hands to raise awareness of the benefits of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies during EveryBody Deserves a Massage Week. This year that fell July 13-19, and Toms River and Clifton massage therapy students and […]

Read more...