This Week we Celebrate Mentoring Volunteerism!
For the week of Oct. 26, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will work in cooperation with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Children's Friend and Family Services, Hyde Square Task Force and SMILES to celebrate mentoring volunteerism. Congratulations to our "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week" Lee Snitzer Volunteer, SMILES
Lee, one of SMILES's Fall River mentors, has been a mentor with the organization for over five years and is someone who truly exemplifies an investment in the value of mentoring. He is currently paired with a 10thand 11th grader at Durfee High School, a 7thgrader at Kuss Middle School and a 6th grader at Talbot Middle School.
A father himself, Lee knows the importance of a positive adult role model in a child's life and strives to be that person during every one of his mentoring sessions with his four mentees. Lee's newest mentee, Michael, a 10th grader at Durfee High School, was a particular challenge for previous mentors. Michael was very shy and reserved and would not even speak to some of his previous mentors. Knowing the importance of having a positive role model, Lee asked if he could mentor Michael.
His experience proved effective as Michael began opening up. Over the last few months Michael's attitude has changed dramatically. Lee reported that “When Michael started opening up I knew he trusted me. He will talk to me about anything. He is open and we have a good relationship.” Now when they meet weekly for mentoring, Michael and Lee like to discuss possible higher education and career options. Having mentors like Lee who truly believe and invest in mentoring are what make it possible for SMILES to continue to help at-risk youth emotionally and academically.
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 2,000 youth annually 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.
Volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay can make a huge difference in the life of a child. With just a one year commitment, the mentoring relationship can significantly impact the child, making them less likely to do drugs or alcohol, less likely to skip school, and more likely to trust their parents. Additional research shows that with a Big Brother specifically, 90% of Littles said that their Big Brother helped them make better decisions, 76% said they learned right from wrong from their Big Brother and 77% reported doing better in school because of their Big Brother. Volunteer Opportunities at BBBS:
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay we ask that volunteers commit at least a year to our program. Anything less, is actually detrimental to the child. Minimum requirements ask that the volunteer or “Big Brother” see his mentee or “Little Brother” at least two times a month, for at least two hours. It's almost important to note that these requirements have set us above and beyond most Big Brothers and Big Sisters Associations, ranking us first in average match length (approximately 38 months) and number of matches lasting past the year mark (75%) which is essential for the benefit of the child.
A special thank you to Dan, Jared and Javier for their outstanding commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay! Dan Doxzon
has gone above and beyond to be the best Big Brother he could to his Little Brother Jael which has impacted his sibling's match like a domino effect. Dan is caring, understanding and has gone out of his way to connect on a different level for such a young match. He's even helped Jael work through his self-consciousness with his height after being teased at school and is helping Jael's side passion of writing short stories.
The first time Jared Steinburg
hung out with his Little Brother Tyrone, he asked him if he wanted to play football for their first outing. As Jared was walking up to the front steps wondering if Tyrone would even remember him, Tyrone came running down the stairs pushing through the screen door with a football tucked under his arm and yelled “Let's go!” From that moment, Jared knew their relationship was going to impact more than just Tyrone- and he was right. Four years later, these two are best friends and go everywhere together. Jared has gone out of his way to encourage Bigs throughout the Boston area working with our recruitment team eagerly to help other guys realize what an impact they can make on the life of a child.
Big Brother Javier Valdivieso
is doing everything he can to get his Little Brother out of the house and excited about new things. So much so that he organized a “Little Brother Police Officer Day” with his employer, the Babson Police Department he could be an honorary police officer where he helped to solve crime, fingerprint, and even give out a parking ticket to an unsuspecting Lamborghini. “When I first met Job he was kind of shy, I had to think outside of the box!” said Valdivieso, “He had mentioned he liked fire trucks, so the second time we hung out, I took him to the police and fire departments. He immediately lit up. He had a blast. We went down and gave him a tour where he got to try on the equipment.” As they spent more time together, their relationship transformed. Now, the two of them are incredibly close and love just hanging out, going to the New England Aquarium, or even helping Santa pick out a new sled for Christmas.
Children's Friend and Family Services
Children's Friend and Family Services agency mission statement is, “To improve the lives of children and to promote strong families.” The Children's Friend Volunteer Youth Mentoring Program's vision is to establish positive, healthy, and productive mentoring matches that will enhance the young person's social, emotional, and educational outcomes. Why volunteer for Children's Friend and Family Services:
- Children's Friend Volunteer Youth Mentors connect their mentees to new opportunities in their own community! With the support of many community partnerships there is always something new to try, somewhere new to explore, or someone new to meet!
- Children's Friend has been a continually operating nonprofit organization since 1837, making them experts in supporting the children and families of their communities. The mentors are trained to be a successful part of our agency legacy!
- Collectively, the 50 volunteer youth mentors at Children's Friend provide almost 6,000 hours of volunteerism to our North Shore and Merrimack Valley communities!
We thank Dave for his volunteer work at Children's Family and Friend Services! Dave Willwerth
- Children's Friend's Volunteer Youth Mentoring program is looking for responsible, caring, and available adults over the age of 21 from Greater Boston's North Shore and Merrimack Valley to serve as a volunteer youth mentor two hours per week for a young person in a nearby community.
has been a volunteer at Children's Friend for almost six months, and in that time, he has helped his mentee, Ryan, come out of his shell and try many new activities. Ryan, a freshman in high school, had struggled to do well in middle school, had difficulty joining clubs, and had refused to try to take leadership opportunities that had been presented to him before meeting Dave. Dave and Ryan began to meet every week doing “guy stuff” like kayaking, hiking, going to the YMCA, and cooking burgers. The more they did activities and Ryan got out into the community, the more Ryan started to really come out of his shell. Dave is so proud of Ryan, and they continue to meet weekly, trying new things, going new places, and generally getting connected to great opportunities in the local community. We're so proud of Ryan and Dave.
Hyde Square Task Force
The mission of Hyde Square Task Force is to build the skills of youth and their families so they are empowered to enhance their own lives and build a strong and vibrant urban community.
Every year, HSTF works year-round with over 120 youth, giving them the opportunity to build their personal leadership skills, their creativity, and their commitment to the community. Mentoring is an essential part of this process: each teen works one-on-one with a relatable adult mentor, with whom they have conversations about relevant issues, explore various college and career paths, and navigate the college exploration process. Volunteer Opportunities:
Hyde Square Task Force thanks Anny, Mark and Trish for their dedicated volunteer efforts! Anny Sanchez
- Hyde Square Task Force's Music Clubhouse engages youth ages 10 to 18 in hands-on music education, performance, and community-building activities. Ideal MCH volunteers should have a background working with urban youth and/or a background in music. For more information, contact Aimee at (617) 524-8303 x312 or Aimee@HydeSquare.org.
- Administrative Support: Volunteers are needed to help perform administrative tasks, assist with newsletters and mailings, and to help at various events. Hours are flexible. For more information, contact Emma at (617) 524-8303 x336 or Emma@HydeSquare.org.
- Mentoring Programs: Youth participate in various college and career-oriented activities with mentors who act as role models and teachers for our youth. The program provides career exploration activities and college campus visits, and covers resume development and interviewing skills. HSTF mentor programs meet once week on weeknights and one Saturday per month. For more information on HSTF Mentoring Programs contact Cristina at (617) 524-8303 x328 or Cristina@HydeSquare.org.
- Tutoring Program: This program links Hyde Square Task Force youth with adult volunteers to assist them with academic coursework to ensure school success. Each adult volunteer works with high school students, assisting the students in completing their homework, preparing for exams, researching project, and completing additional coursework as needed. The HSTF tutoring program meets weeknights during the school-year. For more information, contact Eileen at (617) 524-8303 x340 or Eileen@HydeSquare.org.
has been with Hyde Square Task Force since 2001, when she joined the After School Tutoring Program as a young child. Once she turned 14 she joined the team as a Youth Literacy Tutor and later became a RitmoEnAcción youth leader. After graduating from college in 2010, Anny returned to work at HSTF, and worked with the organization as an adult for four years. Anny frequently goes out of her way to spend time with her mentees and other youth, chaperoning them on special trips and making sure they always have someone to talk to. Anny's experience as an alumna of the program gives her extraordinary insight into the young people's experience, and she's always ready with a joke, a challenge, or a listening ear. Mark Saperstein
is perhaps HSTF's most dedicated volunteer. In his day-to-day life, he's an attorney, educator, and photographer, but still finds time to volunteer with HSTF as a Board Member, event and program photographer, mentor, and tutor. Mark has been a mentor with HSTF for eight years, longer than any other volunteer. Mark's patience is second to none – whether he's working with the youth to interpret a tricky financial aid form, having a sensitive conversation, or helping a youth puzzle through an algebraic equation, he can be depended on to keep his gentle approach and wry sense of humor. Trish O'Shea
has been a volunteer with HSTF for four years, working one-on-one with high school seniors to help guide them through the college application and financial aid process. She's well-known among all HSTF youth as a source of kindness, a thorough understanding of the college process, and treats ranging from delicious seasonal sweets to well-chosen books she knows they'll love. Not only have Trish's mentees sung her praises, a few have shown the impact of her mentoring in a very tangible way: even after graduating they've returned to the program, now volunteer mentors themselves.
The mission of SMILES is to help at-risk youth realize their personal and academic potential through a large scale one-to-one mentoring program. Why volunteers are important:
- Mentors offer support for education: Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters).
- Mentors offer support for day-to day challenges that youth face: Youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters).
- Mentors offer support in the workplace and with career planning: Mentors help young people set career goals and start taking steps to realize them.
- Mentoring enhances academic success, improves workforce readiness, reduces juvenile crime, increases self-esteem, reveals new opportunities and career paths for youth, and strengthens communities. Mentors provide their mentees with an experienced friend who is there to support them in any number of situations.
- Become a mentor
- Staff will set up an interview, which includes an application and screening process
- Select a day and time that works for you – we have a variety of days and times to choose from
- Attend an orientation session to learn tips on how to become a great mentor
- If you are interested, please contact SMILES at 508-679-5233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism
The Celebrate Volunteerism initiative aims to share examples of dedicated volunteers, build awareness of the need for volunteering, identify and educate others about volunteer opportunities and inspire New Englanders to follow the Kraft family's example of becoming a lifelong volunteer.
Throughout the season, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will celebrate volunteers that work tirelessly to support children and families in need throughout the New England region, while also encouraging Patriots fans to get involved in their communities. From animals and arts to military and homelessness, the foundation will have different weekly focuses throughout the season. Each week, the Kraft family and foundation recognizes one outstanding volunteer as the "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week."
Fifteen outstanding volunteers will be named as a Patriots Difference Maker of the Week and are recognized at Patriots Community Tuesday events. During the players one day off, they can be found out in the community at a nonprofit organization based around the weekly theme. Current and former Patriots players will interact with children and families each week and present the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week with an award. Patriots cheerleaders, mascot Pat Patriot and families of Patriots players and coaches will also be actively involved in the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative throughout the season.
The Kraft family and foundation encourage all Patriots fans to join us! Celebrate Volunteerism activities include the opportunity for fans to pledge volunteer hours and submit photos of their own "Patriots Difference Maker" certificates. Patriots' fans from around the world can send along their photos that will be used on our website. Each week, the foundation will also post volunteer opportunities that are available with our partnering nonprofit organizations.
Be sure to check back here throughout the season for the most up to date information on the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
2014 Celebrate Volunteerism Weekly Schedule
To view the 2013 Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, click here