January marks National Mentoring Month, which prompted me to pause and think about the mentors in my life, as well as those I have mentored over the years.
Taking the time to help others grow professionally is a passion of mine and is one reason why I am a champion for Comcast’s community investment programs that help our employees give back to others. I truly believe (and there’s research to back me up) that when people are supported by their employer to volunteer, it leads to happier employees who have increased productivity, retention and teamwork. At Comcast, we have found that our employees who participate in our volunteer programs are more likely to recommend Comcast as a great place to work and are more inspired to do their best work every day. And we’ve found the more time they dedicate, the more engaged they are as employees. In fact, our employees who serve as youth mentors score about 10 percent higher on their employee engagement scores than our employees who do not participate in these programs.
One of the most popular programs we offer at Comcast is Beyond School Walls, which is the nation’s largest workplace mentoring program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. About 325 Comcast employees serving as "Bigs" at Comcast offices in 15 cities are matched with "Littles" and spend quality time together at Comcast offices. This unique setting exposes the "Littles" to different careers and encourages them to think about their future and the steps they need to take to reach their goals. Most of the "Littles" that participate in Beyond School Walls have better grades, are less likely to skip school and are more likely to graduate. It’s a really powerful program and we are honored that it is currently being replicated by other large corporations around the country due to its success.
In part because of our success from Beyond School Walls, The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently recognized Comcast NBCUniversal for our contributions to advancing quality mentoring opportunities for youth and participation in the Corporate Mentoring Challenge, which was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to expand corporate mentoring programs. We are extremely proud to be recognized by these esteemed organizations for "Excellence and Commitment to Quality Youth Mentoring" on a national level.
Comcast NBCUniversal has a unique culture and we attract employees who are driven by giving back, both personally and professionally. I am frequently in awe of our amazing employees and the lives of youth that we’re able to positively impact through programs like Beyond School Walls. Even after National Mentoring Month is over, I know that our employees’ hard work and dedication to helping children achieve their best and creating bright futures continues on.