Big Brothers Big Sisters: Beyond School Walls
Last week, Clark Service Group co-hosted the launch event for the first-ever “Beyond School Walls” program partnership in Lancaster County with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. Students from Conestoga Valley High School met their Clark Service Group mentors for the first time while enjoying treats and playing a fun “Find Your Mentor” game.
“Beyond School Walls” is a site-based and curriculum-based, one-to-one mentoring program that helps students become acquainted with the workplace, learn soft skills, and have access to a variety of career opportunities and fields of study. Young adults receive a mentor who helps to inspire them to see a future beyond high school, reinforce the importance of study habits and strong academic goals, encourage skill development, and ultimately lead to better grades and behavior improvements.
Throughout the year, students will travel to our home office in Lancaster, PA to engage in a variety of career exploration and skill building activities with their Clark Service Group mentors. Topics will range from building healthy relationships to communication skills, and more.
“The first of its kind in Lancaster County, ‘Beyond School Walls’ is a mentoring program designed to help equip students with a better understanding of soft skills, job readiness, and the professional workplace,” says BBBSCR CEO, Maddie Young. “This curriculum-based program gives students a rare opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Clark Service Group.”
“Clark Service Group is very excited to be the inaugural company participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Beyond School Walls Program in Lancaster County,” says Glenn Clark, Jr., President and CEO of Clark Service Group. “Volunteerism and philanthropy have long been a part of our company culture, and we are proud to partner with such an amazing organization that does so much good for our community.”
“As a company, we are blessed to have a great team of associates who live these same values and have generously volunteered their time and talent to participate in this program. We are looking forward to the relationships that will be built through each of the Beyond School Walls matches and know that our team will get just as much out of the program as the young adults who participate. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Clark Foundation, which generously provided the funds to make this program possible for our team,” continues Glenn.
Dr. David Zuilkoski, Superintendent of the Conestoga Valley School District, is extremely optimistic about involving students in this program. “The ‘Beyond School Walls’ partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great opportunity for our students to be mentored by professionals from Clark Service Group,” he said. “Not only will it help students develop twenty-first-century skills needed for success in the job market, but it will also allow them to experience first-hand a perspective not available through other programs.” Dr. Zuilkoski adds, “Kudos to Clark Service Group and the Clark Foundation for making it possible to mentor our future difference-makers!”
So what did our new mentors think about meeting their mentees at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Beyond School Walls Kick-Off Event?
“I was most surprised by how quickly the apprehension dissolved for the kids as we began to interact during our initial meet and greet. It created a sense of excitement and motivation for everyone to have our first session and get the program started!” – Connie Feeser, Warranty Administrator
“I’m looking forward to spending time with my Little one-on-one and seeing her progress in the goals she has set for herself. From my experience so far, BBBS has done an amazing job at pairing the two of us together. It’s an honor to be a part of this inaugural program, and I’m so excited to see where it is headed.” – Kristin Weaver, Accounts Receivable Administrator
“I am grateful to Clark Service Group and to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for the opportunity to be able to connect with and help shape a young man’s future.” – Derrick Sites, Inventory Procurement Specialist
Clark Service Group employees hold a variety of different educational, technical, and professional backgrounds. The Conestoga Valley High School students will gain valuable insight into the vast array of career opportunities available at Clark Service Group and interact with individuals whose experiences illustrate one of many paths to success. We are looking forward to watching each partnership's journey unfold throughout the next year! Stay tuned for updates on our matches and what they're up to.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. For more than 35 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and support matches throughout their life (one to ten years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at www.capbigs.org.
About the Clark Foundation
The Clark Foundation was formally organized in 2001 to support the Clark families' emphasis on community outreach and belief in philanthropy. The Foundation supports the following: organizations focused on health and welfare, the arts, academic education, and organizations supported by the volunteer efforts of our company employees. The foundation focuses on institutions with high percentages of spending for programming and low rates of spending for fundraising and administration.