Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC Expands ‘Bigs in Blue’
Program with New York City Police Department
Nation’s first mentoring organization expands NYPD mentoring initiative with
33rd Precinct in Washington Heights & 69th Precinct in Brooklyn
New York, NY, November 8, 2018 — Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC) today announced the expansion of its Bigs in Blue mentoring initiative with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to serve young people in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Designed to create and foster positive conversations among police officers and youth, the innovative program launched in the Bronx with 44th Precinct officers and eighth-grade students at I.S. 218 in November of 2017, and will now serve 75 young people across the three boroughs. Bigs in Blue will connect 33rd Precinct NYPD officers in Washington Heights and 69th Precinct officers in Brooklyn with local youth to serve as their mentors.
“Over the last year, we’ve witnessed the remarkable impact that these positive mentoring relationships can have on both the young people we serve and the community at large,” said Jon May, interim executive director of BBBS of NYC. “As part of our commitment to empowering youth and strengthening communities across New York City, we are proud to provide more young people with the opportunity to learn invaluable life lessons from outstanding leaders. I’d like to thank the NYPD and each of our partners for working with us to grow such an impactful program that will truly make a difference in the lives of so many young people.”
Through the program, BBBS of NYC will pair NYPD officers in the 33rd Precinct in Washington Heights with 25 young people from the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood’s SONYC After School Program. During the monthly after-school sessions, the officers will meet with program participants to discuss the importance of education, how to develop career goals and plan for the future. On November 8th, BBBS of NYC hosted a special ceremony with chief program officer Martin Yafe of the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood, NYPD officers and local youth at PS 173 Harbor Heights to celebrate the launch of the initiative.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC executes such profound, impactful work across New York City and we are proud to welcome its Bigs in Blue mentoring initiative to Washington Heights,” said Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez. “It’s so important to ensure youth have programs available to them that promote leadership skills and build constructive relationships in the community. Bigs in Blue will connect our youth with access to positive role models, and I know these young people will learn tremendous life lessons from these dedicated New York City leaders.”
“As a Jewish center committed to serving the wider community of Washington Heights and Inwood, and thanks to our ongoing relationship with the Harbor Heights families, mostly comprised of new immigrants from the Dominican Republic, we are proud to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC on its Bigs in Blue initiative,” said Martin Englisher, chief executive officer of the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood. “We believe this program will significantly impact the local youth and help create a more understanding and cohesive community.”
On November 14th, BBBS of NYC will commemorate the launch of Bigs in Blue in Brooklyn during a ceremony at the Police Athletic League (PAL) at Breukelen Cornerstone in Brooklyn. As part of the initiative, 69th Precinct NYPD officers will serve as positive role models to 20 young people from the PAL in Brooklyn during monthly sessions.
“As part of our commitment to empowering New York City youth to realize their full potential as productive members of society, we are proud to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC to integrate Bigs in Blue into our work with the young people we serve,” said Frederick Watts, executive director, Police Athletic League.
BBBS of NYC is dedicated to ensuring more young people across the five boroughs have access to NYPD employees as mentors and plans to continue to expand upon Bigs in Blue.
In 2017, the WellCare Community Foundation committed up to $250,000 to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s (BBBSA) Bigs in Blue program. BBBSA and WellCare awarded $50,000 to BBBS of NYC to launch the program in New York City.
The nation’s first and New York’s largest youth mentoring organization, BBBS of NYC serves more than 5,500 young people in New York City each year through a variety of specialized mentoring programs. BBBS of NYC’s programs provide young people with the resources they need to excel in their academics and lead successful lives: 99% of the Littles BBBS of NYC serves as promoted to the next grade, 99% of high school seniors graduate from high school, and 93% of Littles who graduate from high school are accepted into college. Approximately $3,500 funds the establishment of a new one-on-one match relationship for one year. Those who are interested in donating to BBBS of NYC or becoming a volunteer mentor can visit www.bigsnyc.org.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC
Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and NYC’s largest youth mentoring organization, has served the changing needs of New York City’s most at-risk youth since 1904. The volunteer- and donor-based organization offers a variety of specialized mentoring programs to help children facing more complex challenges – including immigrant youth, children of incarcerated parents and those in foster care – as well as the Workplace Mentoring Program, which helps businesses throughout New York City positively impact the lives of young people and build a foundation for professional success. Additionally, since 1992 BBBS of NYC has worked through its Center for Training and Professional Development to equip non-profit professionals throughout New York City to develop and enhance their own mentor-based programs and organizations.
Through the support of individuals, foundations and corporations, this not-for-profit agency has been able to change the lives of the city’s most disadvantaged children, matching them with caring adult role models – dependable friends who can help to expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures. All contributions enable BBBS of NYC to continue to foster current match relationships and also provide more New York City children with life-changing mentors. Approximately $3,500 funds the establishment of a new one-on-one match relationship for one year. To learn more, become a mentor, donate and/or offer support, please visit www.bigsnyc.org.
About Police Athletic League
New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served the city’s young people for over 100 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 30,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.
About the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood
Established in 1917 as a community center in northern Manhattan, the Y is a not-for-profit organization that offers the opportunity to improve mind, body, and spirit. The Y’s wide array of educational, recreational, and social services (which include early childhood education, youth development, Summer Youth Employment for teens, a health and fitness center, and a NYC Innovative Senior Center) aim to improve the quality of life for people of all ages. Now in its second century, the Y remains equally committed to serving the diverse community. www.ywashhts.org
Jennifer Passaretti Marino.