New vehicle makes campus transport safer

New transport vehicle

Mike Cretella, deputy chief of YSU police, and Crissi Jenkins of the Youngstown Foundation stand next to the new vehicle to help get people, especially those with disabilities, around campus more safely and easily.

A new vehicle paid for by the Hine Memorial Fund is helping students, staff and visitors – especially those with disabilities – get around campus more safely and easily.

The vehicle, an extended-length golf cart with wheelchair accessibility, was paid for by a $20,000 grant from the Hine Memorial Fund, which is administered by the Youngstown Foundation. The Fund, established by local philanthropist Elizabeth Hines Cates, who passed away many years ago, provides grants to local non-profits that serve individuals under age 21 who reside in Youngstown and vicinity with diagnosed disabilities, said Crissi Jenkins, program coordinator at the Youngstown Foundation.

The new vehicle is being used by the student security aids, located in Kilcawley Center. Previously, when an individual needed assistance, aids pushed wheelchairs around campus. The cart has been custom fitted with a special ramp and wheelchair tie-downs by Austintown Glenwood Cycle.

“This vehicle is what we need for these kids, and we’ll also be able to buy some supplemental equipment for the young men who are going to be using the vehicle,” said Mike Cretella, deputy chief of the YSU Police Department.

Cretella said the student aids are on campus from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. “We always have people who are in need of their services, and whether it’s a temporary disability or a permanent one, this is a great way to get people across campus to their cars, to their parents, or wherever they need to be,” he said. The student aids make 900 to 1,000 runs per year.

Jenkins said organizations have opportunities four times a year to submit grant requests to the Hine Fund.  “When Mike approached me about this project, we talked a lot about what it would be used for and I really felt that it was a perfect fit for our mission and what we look to do and accomplish within the community,” she said.

For more information on the services offered by the student security aids, or to request assistance moving around campus, call 330-941-1515.