Kraly has been coordinating BAE Systems’ mentoring program in Endicott, N.Y. for the past five years with unparalleled dedication to the kids and employee mentors who participate in the once-a-week sessions during the school year. The program focuses on 3rd – 5th graders in the Johnson City, N.Y., school district who have been identified as ‘at risk’ due to both social and academic needs. Children in the program are assigned a single BAE Systems employee as a mentor.
“I match students dependent upon the number of employees who volunteer,” said Kraly. “This year has been an incredible turnout of employees. I have 43 employees currently mentoring – the most ever – but even so, there is a waiting list 80 children deep to get into our program.”
In 2011, after the business’ Johnson City facility was lost due to catastrophic flooding, Kraly and his Johnson City school district contact Julie Lamuraglia weren’t sure if the program would be able to rebound without a facility to use or employee mentors since everyone was busy re-building the business and new facility in Endicott.
“I was absolutely astounded and touched by our employees who, even with all that was happening with the recovery, began asking me when we would be reinstituting the program at our new location,” said Kraly. “After the September flood, the program was only postponed a couple of months – we picked back up in November of 2011. I absolutely could not do this without employee volunteers – who do this on their own time – they are extremely dedicated to our business and community, and know how important these children are to the future.”