Hoping to expand its workplace mentoring program after launching two successful partnerships in Polk County earlier this school year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is seeking Lakeland-area businesses that would like to learn more about this important initiative designed to improve graduation rates and better prepare students for life after high school.
The new initiative, called School-to-Work, is a 2-year program that matches 20 or more high school juniors with adult volunteer mentors from a nearby business. The students “called Littles” visit their mentors, “called Bigs,” once a month at the workplace for approximately three hours. The first hour is dedicated to a group activity designed around life skills. The Little shadows their Big during the second hour, gaining valuable exposure to a professional work environment. And the third hour is spent over lunch, with a focus on relationship building between the Bigs and Littles, as well as the other participants in the program.
The Bigs and Littles communicate via phone calls or text messages between the monthly visits. The program is designed to provide valuable support during the crucial final two years of high school as the students contemplate enrolling in college, enlisting in the military or seeking employment.
The agency previously launched School-to-Work partnerships in Polk County with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits in Lakeland and CenterState Bank in Winter Haven, with more than 35 students currently participating.
If you are interested in learning more about this impactful way to engage your employees in community service, please contact Jennifer Libby, Senior Vice President of Programs, at 813-769-3616 or JenniferL@bbbstampabay.org
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is part of the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network and 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 youth, or “Littles,” with screened volunteer mentors, or “Bigs,” and monitors these mentoring matches throughout their time in the program. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity – often of a single or low-income household or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military – with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. In 2018, more than 3,000 children were paired with mentors in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties. The agency was awarded the BBBS National Gold Standard Award this past summer. For more information please visit www.bbbstampabay.org.