Edison State forges partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Edison State College has proudly served as a community leader in Southwest Florida for 50 years, and its commitment to Charlotte County grew stronger Thursday with the announcement that the college became the first Community Partner of the Charlotte location for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast.
“The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change a child’s life for the better, forever,” said Carolyn Gorton, community resource director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. “This partnership with Edison promises to make a huge impact on the children of Charlotte County for both the 6-18 year olds we serve and the college students who have this opportunity to give back to their community.”
Community Partner status signifies the commitment of Edison State faculty, staff and students to serve as Bigs to support school based and community based one-to-one mentoring programs. The Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs match screened, interviewed, qualified and well-trained mentors (Bigs) from Edison State with children in the community or from a partnering school.
Edison State has fully embraced the mentoring program and will provide space and assistance as needed for recruiting, training and supporting of mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters will provide services to screen, train and match qualified volunteers as mentors to children served by the agency, as well as ongoing support and training for existing matches.
“Civic engagement and community participation are an important component to the complete college experience that Edison State offers,” said Michael Beane, Student Life Specialist at Edison State College Charlotte Campus.
“We’re extremely proud to partner with an outstanding organization the caliber of Big Brothers Big Sisters; we share a mutual goal in our commitment to helping individuals attain their dreams and a better life,” Beane continued. “We’re extremely proud of our students. They have really embraced this opportunity and demonstrated the leadership qualities every employer looks for.”
Four Charlotte Campus representatives have already been granted Bigs status with about 10 more currently in the screening processes.
Community service, mentoring in particular, has been a staple of Edison State throughout Charlotte Campus President Dr. Patricia Land’s 10 years. The Charlotte Campus also partners with Take Stock in Children and boasts the HOPE (Help One Person Excel) Scholarship program that features an extensive mentoring component.