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Haskell and Big Brothers Big Sisters launch ‘Beyond School Walls’

Haskell has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and Andrew Jackson High School to launch “Beyond School Walls,” a workplace mentoring partnership that pairs 53 Haskell employees with 53 students for one-to-one mentoring. The mentoring program will take place bi-weekly throughout the school year at Haskell’s Riverside office, where mentors and students eat lunch, build a relationship, and talk about school and career goals.

Many of Jacksonville’s dignitaries were at the launch party today at Haskell, including the City of Jacksonville Education Commissioner Donnie Horner, Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannels, School Board Chairman W.C. Gentry and members of the Duval County School Board, among others.

“Events like this show the corporate stewardship and philanthropic spirit that make Jacksonville a great city,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “This collaboration of Haskell, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and Andrew Jackson High School is among the very best examples of public-private partnership that will help take our city to the next level.”

Beyond School Walls is a version of the Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based program, but different in that the students will be transported from their school to the business partner’s offices to meet their mentors. This partnership not only provides the students a mentor, but exposes them to a positive work environment, new career paths and life goals.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida launched the first Beyond School Walls partnership between Sandalwood High School and Comcast in October 2010, and they are in the second year of the mentoring partnership. Haskell launches the second partnership hosting the largest number of participants.

“We are extremely thankful for the participants at The Haskell Company for joining Comcast and JPMorgan Chase who have become our workplace mentoring partners,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida CEO Warren Grymes. “These are powerful local partnerships that benefit students and schools in an impactful way. We encourage more local companies to volunteer for Beyond School Walls so we can continue to help motivate and empower our youth.”

During the sessions, tenth and eleventh grade students and mentors are encouraged to develop a partnership by discussing school, sports, family, goals and other aspects important in the child’s life. Haskell and Andrew Jackson High School will continue the mentoring partnership for three years when the tenth graders will graduate from high school.

“Corporate stewardship through community service is one of the core values at Haskell. We focus on philanthropic and community service programs that place an emphasis on education and children’s services, which is why Beyond School Walls is an excellent program for our team,” said Paul Tyler, president of Haskell’s Commercial Group and board chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. “We hope through our involvement with Beyond School Walls that students have someone they can confide in, and in turn, our employees benefit from a positive relationship with the students. We believe our team will get as much from this program as will the students we mentor.”

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and Beyond School Walls, visit www.bbbsnefl.org. To learn more about Andrew Jackson High School, visit www.duvalschools.org. More information can be found at www.haskell.com or by calling 904-791-4500.


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