We are thrilled to partner with Copperview Elementary School in Midvale, Utah this year for our Big Brothers Big Sisters workplace mentoring program! In late September, we welcomed a new group of third graders to Comcast. Currently, Comcast mentors a group of fifth graders from Sandy Elementary School.
In 2008, Comcast’s Philadelphia headquarters and BBBS launched Beyond School Walls: a workplace mentoring program where Littles from a local elementary school are bussed to Comcast during lunch hour every other week. The Littles spend an hour eating, playing, and working on academics with their Big in a workplace setting. Research shows that compared to other BBBS programs, Comcast matches have a higher retention rate and the children in the program are more diverse.
The Utah program began in 2009 and followed the same group of students until they graduated from elementary school. In the 2012/13 school year, the program started with a new group of third graders from Sandy Elementary School with the plan to see them through elementary school graduation as well. According to school representatives, when the new group started the Beyond School Walls program in 2012, most were average third graders; some were timid, some had unbridled energy. All Littles were considered to be at-risk youth.
At the start of the year the Littles were nervous and uncomfortable with the new, professional setting at Comcast. As the end of the school year approached, Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, who works closely with the matches, noticed marked differences in the kids’ social interactions with peers and adults.
The Beyond School Walls program aids these kids by providing them with stable adult mentors and by exposing them to a work environment that many of the students did not know existed.