Big Brothers Big Sisters Launches Beyond School Walls Workplace Mentoring Program at EPB


Chattanooga, TN (November 7, 2017) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga launches the Beyond School Walls Workplace Mentoring model program at EPB, which supports students who want to explore future career opportunities with local employers.

“Launch Day at EPB was a huge success,” said Site-Based Mentoring director Emily Barrow. “We applaud EPB management and employees for their commitment to making a difference for the children and ultimately the community. Programs like Beyond School Walls change lives at a time when even the smallest choices can alter the course of a youth’s future.”

The Launch Day included 20 “Littles” meeting 20 “Bigs” at EPB, who will continue meeting each Tuesday morning through the academic year. The 20 “Littles” are sixth grade students at East Lake Academy, who will explore career paths available at EPB as well as the education requirements for various positions. The 20 “Bigs” are EPB employees who have volunteered their time and talents to inspire students along a path to success.

“EPB is thankful for the opportunity Big Brothers Big Sisters has given us with this partnership to help make a difference in the lives of our students, as it aligns with our community commitments, ” said EPB Community Development vice president Hodgen Mainda. “Through mentorship, we are proud to support our students in their educational endeavors and we hope they consider internships and careers at EPB in the future.”

The Beyond School Walls Workplace Mentoring model is a one-to-one, site-based mentoring program that connects young people from a local school with an employee volunteer mentor weekly during the school year, and is made possible with a grant from the Community Foundation of Chattanooga. This new initiative introduces students to careers early in their middle school years, allowing them to experience working for a corporation or government agency and the educational requirements needed to achieve professional success, all while building a strong and supportive mentoring relationship. This program model is based on other Big Brothers Big Sisters workplace mentoring programs from around the country that have been proven successful.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is the largest and oldest mentoring organization in the country. Locally, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga serves children ages 6-18 in Hamilton, Bradley, Marion Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties. The mission of BBBS is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better forever.

Each child is carefully “matched” with a caring adult mentor, and supported and monitored by a professional Case Manager. The agency ensures that all mentors go through a layered background check, training, and a thorough screening/ interview process. Mentoring can take place at a partnering school, company or after-school location (Site-Based Program) or in the community (Community-Based Program).

BBBS is distinctive from other mentoring organizations in that it provides professional support throughout the mentoring relationship, so all matches grow into lasting, impactful friendships. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been sustainable for 60 years and has served over 21,000 youth in our community.

About EPB

Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.

EPB serves more than 170,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia.

In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first, and to date, only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.

EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid. For more information, go to EPB.com.


November 7, 2017


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