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JAXPORT and Big Brothers Big Sisters launch "Beyond School Walls" mentoring partnership

November 8, 2012

Mentor and mentee at Beyond School Walls session

JAXPORT has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and Jean Ribault High School to launch “Beyond School Walls,” a workplace mentoring partnership that pairs 21 JAXPORT employees with students for one-to-one mentoring. The mentoring pairs will meet on a bi-weekly basis throughout the school year at JAXPORT’s main offices, where mentors and students will enjoy lunch together, talk about school and career goals and build relationships.

“Beyond School Walls” is an extension of the school-based version of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, but offers a twist on the traditional situation as students travel from school to the business partner’s offices to meet with mentors. This partnership provides the students a steady mentor and also brings them in to a positive work environment, where they can learn first-hand about new career paths and life goals.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida inaugurated the first “Beyond School Walls” partnership between Sandalwood High School and Comcast in October 2010. JAXPORT proudly takes its place today as the fifth workplace mentoring partnership in the area, a continuation of the port’s eight-year mentoring relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters through the school-based program.

Mentor and mentee at "Beyond School Walls" session

“We are extremely thankful for the participants at JAXPORT for joining Comcast, The Haskell Company, Mayo Clinic and JPMorgan Chase who have all become our workplace

mentoring partners,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida CEO Warren Grymes. “These are powerful local partnerships that benefit students and schools in an impactful way.  We encourage more local companies to volunteer for Beyond School Walls so we can continue to help motivate and empower our youth.”

During the sessions, ninth grade students and mentors discuss school, sports, family, goals and other aspects important in the child’s life. JAXPORT and Jean Ribault High School will continue the mentoring partnership for four years seeing the students through high school graduation.
“There is nothing more important than ensuring our youth have the support and encouragement they need to succeed as contributing citizens of this community,” said JAXPORT CEO Paul Anderson. “The port’s main mission is to add to the region’s quality of life by creating quality employment and generating economic benefit. Offering our team members as mentors to Big Brothers Big Sisters is clearly aligned with that goal as it helps build the men and women that will lead our region in the future.”

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and “Beyond School Walls,” visit www.bbbsnefl.org.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida

Since 1915, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida (BBBSNEFL) has been impacting lives of children in our community through the power of one-to-one relationships. Covering Duval, Clay, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and Volusia counties, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida provides mentors to nearly 1,500 children each year. As a member of the Large Agency Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida is the 7th largest agency in the Southeast region and the 3rd largest in Florida. BBBSNEFL operates under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer at www.bbbsnefl.org.

Photos of today’s kick-off event at JAXPORT are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaxport/

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