Weldco is proud to be one of the first few companies to develop a Corporate Mentoring Program with Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area (BGCBigs). In fact, Weldco is the 5th Corporate Mentoring partner and BGCBigs has fortunately recruited another three partners since.
Continuing to grow, Weldco has expanded its program from four mentors and five mentees in 2013 to seven mentors and ten mentees in 2014. The mentoring starts by strategically matching Weldco employees one-on-one with Norwood Elementary School students. The kids are brought to the Edmonton facility to be mentored for an hour per week throughout the school year. Time spent mentoring is always during the employees’ paid time. The mentors and mentees spend their time playing games, doing crafts, talking, reading, completing homework, and so forth. Furthermore, the mentors provide their mentees with development support, friendship, and guidance beyond that which they may or may not receive from their families, friends, and teachers.
Corporate mentoring has a number of definitions. Like Weldco, a company can recruit their internal volunteers and work with a school partner to have kids brought to the office site, or the staff contingent can visit a school. Alternatively, companies can develop a strategy whereby staff are allowed flex time to visit a child at a school, become part of a community match (big brother or big sister), or volunteer at one of the nine Edmonton Clubs on their own. BGCBigs volunteer teams are available to visit companies to share information about mentoring and facilitate training onsite in a group environment, so as to limit any inconvenience to the company and individuals involved.
Even for just one hour per week, we believe that mentoring strongly impacts the future of our entire community. According to BGCBigs, “children matched with mentors show improved:
• Confidence, self-esteem and sense of hope
• Academic grades
• School attendance
• Interactions with peers, parents and teachers
• Social and communication skills
• They’re more likely to finish high school and less likely to be involved in criminal activities”
Along with many other impressive statistics shown on the website, “children matched with mentors are:
• 80% more likely to finish high school
• 46% less likely to use drugs
• 27% less likely to use alcohol
• 52% less likely to skip school”
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