Volunteer Spotlight: Pamela Reese Valentine

Pamela has been involved with United Way since 2007, when she was working in North Canton with the Girl Scouts.

“One year they had me come and speak to Women United about Girl Scouts. They asked me to get involved with the Girl UP program as a volunteer and I did that, then became more involved with Women United from there.”

Pamela was originally on the committee when Girl UP was an after-school program, bringing the girls into Timken High School after hours with different stations for them to explore. 

“Girl UP introduces young ladies to nontraditional careers. Most of these jobs are career paths many young ladies never think about exploring. I know I as a young lady, I never thought about auto mechanics or welding or anything like that, because those were “boys jobs”. The girls attend events that have career stations and rotate to experience welding, auto mechanics and more. These events focus on middle schoolers, so they can make
choices when they get to high school. We know college is not for everyone, and this program shows them you can have a good life, a good career and not go to college. “

Pam has also volunteered her time for other United Way programs like VITA  (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and financial coaching.

“I wish people knew that United Way doesn’t just give people a hand out. Instead, they focus more on giving people a hand up. It’s not just about feeding you today but teaching you how to fish so you can eat tomorrow. That’s the way I look at United Way now because they have so many opportunities to help residents learn independence.

I will never forget helping a young lady do her taxes and letting her know she would receive a tax refund. I told her the amount and she started crying and said ‘I can get my car fixed now.’   

United Way really strives to be involved in the community and see where the real needs are. They know they can’t do everything, so they really try to stay focused and I really think that’s good.”

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Pamela was the General Treasurer of the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church for eight years. She is an active member of the Wesley Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Akron, Ohio, and has served as the President of the Young Adult Missionary Society, the Chairperson of the Annual Prayer Breakfast, a facilitator for Vacation Bible School, a member of the Christian Education Board, a member of the Trustee Board, Stewart board, and the church treasurer.

She graduated from Langley High School in Pittsburgh and is a 1978 graduate of The University of Akron, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. 

Pam currently works for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio as the Director of Community Development. She served six years as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Western Reserve Girl Scout Council.