Comcast, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Connecticut and Lincoln Elementary School in New Britain, Connecticut, just wrapped up our 13th year of the Beyond School Walls program. This collaborative effort brings together “Littles” from grades three, four and five with Comcast employees, “Bigs,” for one-to-one mentoring sessions twice a month during the school year.
Beyond School Walls aims to help at-risk children reach their fullest potential, and the fact that the program has been going strong for so long, even throughout the uncertainty of the pandemic, can be attributed to our dedicated Bigs, many of whom have been in involved with the program for a number of years.
Two of these volunteers are Kieanya, a Comcast Business product support & analysis specialist, and Greg, a project manager. Not only have they both been with the Beyond School Walls program for years, they’ve also transitioned their latest match (“Little”) to “community based mentoring,” meaning they can also mentor their Little outside of the worksite-based program.
Click the video below to learn about Kieanya and her Little and then read on for Greg’s experience with the program.
Q. Greg, how long have you volunteered with the program?
A. I’ve volunteered with the Beyond School Walls program since 2013.
Q. What are your thoughts about the program?
A. I’ve noticed that the kids start off the year quiet and reserved, but after two or three sessions, when they’ve gotten to know their Big better, they’re full of smiles and energy. I think getting individual attention from an adult in a safe setting is incredibly valuable to these kids.
Q. What prompted you to become a Big?
A. Comcast is committed to connecting with and giving back to the communities it serves, and I like being part of the larger effort while building a relationship with a student.
Q. What was your favorite activity from this year’s program?
A. The science experiments were a TON of fun. This year, we had someone from the Connecticut Science Center walk us through a STEAM activity. Seeing the kids make their own “goop” out of ordinary household materials was a blast, and the students were so excited.
Q. What made you decide to also get involved as a community-based mentor?
A. I’ve been matched with Daniel for two years now. After our first school year together, I liked the idea of continuing to be an active positive role model in his life during the summer when the Beyond School Walls program finished for the season. The community-based program allows us to stay connected throughout the year.