CEO Corner April 2022
Happy National Volunteer Month! Thank you to all of our volunteers that serve as mentors and board members. It takes a village to fulfill our mission of creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring that ignites the power and promise of youth! Your time and talents are truly invaluable to our organization.
This month also marks the return of our annual Youth Protection Summit. The Summit highlighted emerging best practices in youth protection strategy and innovations from our own organization. BBBS has been a leader in child protection over the years, and our standards consistently evolve, becoming better and better over time. Over BBBS’s 116-year history, we have modified and strengthened our child protection systems continuously, making it our priority to learn, share best practices and screen volunteers to the highest standard. We also monitor our matches for the LIFE of the match. Yes, I said LIFE of the match, no matter how many years it spans. Once we make a match between a child and mentor, we keep an eye on that relationship, checking in regularly with the child, mentor and parent/guardian. We provide child safety check-ins, resources and referrals to other services needed, access to planned activities and events that the match can attend, plus a listening ear for anything else that may arise throughout the relationship. For example, we recently helped a parent enroll their child with a therapist to talk through issues happening at school.
I wanted to also give a shout out to the Starbucks store in Manchester on Willow St., for generously allowing us to host a “Match Mingle” at the beginning of April accompanied by complimentary beverages and treats. Last year, the Starbucks Foundation made a commitment to BBBS on a national level to help build equity in local communities through JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) initiatives. Through this partnership, we hope to engage more local Starbucks stores, expand our JEDI reach in the Granite State and recruit more volunteer mentors to meet our growing need.
Speaking of JEDI initiatives and a growing waitlist, our PRISM program (Pride, Respect, Identity, Safety, and Mentoring) is still looking for trusted allies to mentor LGBTQ+ youth. Please help us to spread the word! We are also thrilled to announce that we will be Seacoast Outrights partner for Pride Month in June. More to come on that in our next Newsletters, but if you are interested in volunteering to help out – hit reply and let me know!
Stacy W. Kramer, CEO