Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay Launches Campus-Based Mentoring Program with Endicott College and Gloucester Housing Authority
Children from Gloucester Housing Authority to travel to Endicott College to be mentored by college students on campus
BOSTON, MA (April 13, 2016) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, one of the nation’s leading one-to-one mentoring programs, today announced the launch of a new campus-based program in partnership with Endicott College and the Gloucester Housing Authority. Twice a month during the school year, 13 children from the Gloucester Housing Development will travel to Endicott College in Beverly to be mentored by Endicott college students. This program follows Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay’s innovative model of servicing hard to reach communities by partnering with local colleges to pair students with children from the community.
The Endicott/GHA Campus-Based Mentoring Program is a unique version of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay’s one-to-one youth mentoring program and will give children in the Gloucester community an opportunity to experience college life first-hand while providing college students the ability to make a difference in the life of a child while at school. The idea for this program was developed by Thomas Bentley, former Collegiate & Community Partnerships Manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, and Lauri Rawls, Community Service Director at Endicott College. Matches will engage in group activities for the first 90 minutes, then they will have one-on-one time with each other to participate in other activities around campus.
Children living in the Gloucester Housing Development typically live in single-parent and low-income households and are shown to benefit greatly from a one-to-one mentoring relationship, providing them with increased confidence and an ability to thrive in all aspects of life. A 2009 study by Harris Interactive of alumni Littles found that Big Brothers Big Sisters gives children a better foundation for life success by providing educational and life guidance. The study shows that 90 percent of Littles said that their relationship with their Big Brother or Big Sister helped them make better choices throughout their childhood. Children who have benefitted from having a Big Brother or Big Sister are 46 percent less likely to do drugs and 27 percent less likely to start drinking alcohol than their peers. Through this program, students build meaningful and lasting connections with adults in a positive and engaging environment that will impact their success both in and outside the school environment.
“We’re excited to bring more caring adult mentors into the lives of Gloucester children to help them develop the skills needed to thrive in all aspects of their lives,” said Wendy Foster, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. “We look forward to growing this program in partnership with Endicott College and the Gloucester Housing Authority in an effort to reach more children and families from this community.”
“We’re delighted that our students are excited to mentor local youth and be another positive adult role model in their lives. We really value experiential learning at Endicott College and this is an awesome opportunity for our students to think bigger than themselves and experience the joy of being a mentor while positively impacting their community,” said Lauri Rawls, Endicott College Director of Community Service.
“Our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and Endicott College will provide our public housing youth with a mentor who’s truly invested in them–broadening their horizons throughout the course of their friendship,” said Elizabeth Auwerda, Assistant Director Resident and Support Services at Gloucester Housing Authority. “For some of these children, spending time with their Bigs on Endicott’s campus will be the driving force that motivates them to succeed in school and become college students in the future.”
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts
Bay Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay is an innovative, energetic organization that is making a real difference in the lives of over 2,100 youth by providing them with an invested, caring adult mentor. With research and proven outcomes at its core, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay is working to ensure every child has the support from caring adults that they need for healthy development and success in life. The organization’s vision is to inspire, engage and transform communities in Massachusetts Bay by helping youth achieve their full potential, contributing to healthier families, better schools, brighter futures and stronger communities. To learn more, visit bbbsmb.staging.wpengine.com
About Endicott College
Located in Beverly, Massachusetts on 235 acres of oceanfront property, Endicott College offers doctorate, master’s and bachelor degree programs in the professional and liberal arts. Founded in 1939, Endicott provides an education built upon a combination of theory and practice, which is tested through internships and work experience. Studying at the Beverly campus, regionally, and internationally are approximately 2,650 undergraduate and more than 2,350 adult and graduate students. For more information, visit www.endicott.edu
About Gloucester Housing Authority (GHA)
The Gloucester Housing Authority (GHA) provides adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity, and suitable living environments in the Cape Ann area. Assisting over 1300 households through Public Housing, Rental Assistance, Homeownership, and Resident Service programs, the Gloucester Housing Authority has a direct connection to the youth, families, and communities we aim to serve. To learn more, visit www.ghama.com.
Alexandra Hodgman, Digital Marketing & Communications Manager AHodgman@bbbsmb.org