GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— As Chief Executive Officer at Fifth Wheel Freight (FWF), Reese Van Heck, is passionate about investing in West Michigan and giving back to the community. In collaboration with Affinity Mentoring, Van Heck encourages the development of self-esteem, social skills, and academics by mentoring K-8th grade students in Grand Rapids. Van Heck is committed to investing his time in a sustainable, high-quality mentoring program that positively impacts our community.
“This is an incredible opportunity to serve the most important part of our community, the youth,” says Van Heck. “We must walk alongside students and encourage them to develop the skills and abilities needed to be successful in every facet of life.”
Affinity Mentoring believes in cultivating a brave space that amplifies the voices of young agents of change in a diverse and inclusive community. The nonprofit organization partners with local businesses, organizations, and schools to match students in K-8th grade with a caring adult role model to journey alongside them one hour a week. The organization values individuals throughout the West Michigan community that are critical partners that are routinely invited to work closely and proactively in student support teams.
The Affinity team is highly qualified and diversified, holding degrees in social work, public administration, and elementary education, among others which enables them to navigate the larger system and effectively advocate for students. This expertise leads to greater retention rates among mentor matches and greater outcomes for youth. Only 3% of Affinity matches close prematurely, compared to an approximately 50% premature closure rate among mentoring programs nationally.
“We know that students need five to seven safe adults they can talk to and trust for healthy development and growth, and after three years in a global pandemic there has never been such a need for kind, caring mentors,” says Rachel Humphreys, Development and Communications Director at Affinity Mentoring. “Social-emotional skills, academics, and self-esteem are all areas that are crucial to student success, so we are striving to provide additional support to help meet those needs through the Affinity Mentoring program.”
FWF is a third-party logistics and transportation provider (3PL) that offers full-service logistics solutions across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. As a 3PL, FWF has the unique ability to deliver less than truckload (LTL) and full truckload (TL) shipping, intermodal, drayage, domestic, and international ground/air freight services. For more information about FWF, visit fwf.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.
About Affinity Mentoring
Affinity Mentoring is a nonprofit organization that works towards the mutual liberation of all community members and believes that youth are already leaders and community members but need equitable access and platforms to use their voice. Affinity Mentoring’s model provides individual, one-hour-per-week mentoring with trained, safe, supportive adults to support the growth of leadership and social-emotional skills, as well as math and literacy skills.