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I recently attended the BBBS National Conference in Washington, D.C. I was honored to be invited to a small, exclusive briefing with Senior Administration officials from the Department of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services. At the White House I met with Attorney General Eric Holder as well as other Directors and members of various agencies.
Together with other nonprofits, we discussed the state of mentoring in the U.S. and best practices moving forward to provide the children in our country with a life-changing mentoring experience.
This month we are highlighting Danville, a 3rd grader from Neptune who would like to have a Big Brother. I wish Danville, and every child had a positive role model in his or her life. It takes so little to make a difference in the life of a child and change the course of their future, and it is our mission to ensure that fewer children will be left behind. Together we can make a difference to Danville and all of the other kids in our community who need a guiding force.
The close of the school year brought with it the end of the 3rd year of our AT&T Pioneers Site Based Mentoring Program serving Keansburg High School students. Sixteen students from the school are matched with a volunteer mentor who is an AT&T employee. The students are brought after school to AT&T's Middletown campus every other Wednesday where they spend one-to-one time with their mentors and participate in activities and presentations.
We are so proud that three of our AT&T matches were so well suited that they wanted to extend their friendship beyond the school year and chose to transition into our Community Based Program. This move requires additional screening and training as the Bigs and Littles will now meet one-to-one on their own out in the community rather than in a structured supervised program.
Big Sister Jan and Little Sister Courtney are one of the matches that has made this transition and we couldn't be happier that Courtney has another person in her life that can guide her as she goes from high school to college.
For the past three years, Jan has helped facilitate the AT&T program. "It has been a real pleasure getting to know the students from Keansburg High School and working through school issues, preparing for college, and overall just being an ear or a shoulder," she said. Jan mentored a student in the program for two years until she graduated high school and then last year was matched with Courtney.
"There was a spark between us from the beginning and we pursued a Community Based match. I enjoy spending time with my Little Sister and we both talk about how lucky we are to have this opportunity," Jan said.
Danville has been waiting for a "nice" Big Brother since he was enrolled into the program in November. He is 8 years old and lives with his mother, two sisters, and brother in Neptune. This active third grader could really use some extra encouragement and confidence with school and peer relationships. He enjoys playing baseball, running, video games, and watching zombie movies. Danville is happy about the prospect of having a Big Brother and is looking forward to playing baseball, going to parks, bowling, and seeing a movie together.
For more information, to become a Big Brother or Big Sister or
to make a donation call 732-544-2224 or visit: www.bbbsmmc.org