As we close out Nationa Mentoring Month, we’re thankful for the time and volunteer spirit our Comcasters bring to the Beyond School Walls program and for the impact they have on children in our local communities.
Big Brothers Big Sisters developed the program in 2008 as a way to partner at-risk students with corporate leaders in the workplace. Students visit employees at their Comcast offices every other week throughout the school year. Since Comcast’s launch of the program, other companies have followed suit based on its success and impact. It’s now the nation’s largest workplace mentoring program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Recently, Pittsburgh-area Comcast “bigs” hosted their “littles” during an appreciation lunch attended by the 29 participating Sto-Rox Middle School students and their principal, Tim Beck. This was an opportunity to not only thank the bigs who volunteer in the program but to celebrate its success. Youth involved in the Comcast Beyond School Walls program demonstrated statistically significant gains in social acceptance and educational expectations:
- 96 percent of Comcast Beyond School Walls youth maintained or improved their social acceptance among peers.
- 91 percent maintained or improved their ability to perform and motivate themselves in school.
- 91 percent maintained or improved their hopes for higher education or educational success.
Some of the biggest benefits of the program are the friendships it helps forge between the bigs and littles. Trequan recently wrote to his big, Mauro, “I am very grateful for your assistance with my goals. . . thank you for your kindness and consideration.”
Beyond School Walls has expanded through the years, with the newest and 17th site launching last month in Los Angeles.
Jody Doherty is Regional Vice President of Community Investment for Comcast’s Keystone Region.