Beyond School Walls: Making a "Big" Impact on "Littles"
January is National Mentoring Month, but helping young people is a year-round activity for some 325 Comcasters – including our employees in Baltimore and Fort Myers, Fla. Our offices in those two cities recently joined 13 others in welcoming at-risk students every two weeks for one-to-one mentoring with Comcast employees as part of the Beyond School Walls program. Run in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Beyond School Walls pairs Comcast employee "Bigs" with student "Littles" from neighboring schools to improve their lives in the classroom and beyond.
Launched in 2008 with 35 matches, Beyond School Walls at Comcast has grown to become Big Brothers Big Sisters’ largest workplace mentoring program. Beyond School Walls continues to expand because of its positive impact on "Littles" and their Comcast "Bigs" – Beyond School Walls "Littles" have better grades, are less likely to skip school, and are more likely to graduate, while our employee mentors report higher job satisfaction than their non-"Big" peers.
Our efforts were recognized recently by MENTOR, a national organization dedicated to expanding mentoring relationships that selected Comcast to receive the Corporate Mentoring Challenge Award for Excellence and Commitment to Quality Youth Mentoring.
A Major Milestone in Giving
Since 1999, the Comcast Foundation has invested in programs and nonprofits that make change happen in the communities we serve. In 2014, as the Foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary, we marked another major milestone – surpassing $150 million in support.
A Holiday Spectacular for Everyone
From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the lobby of Philadelphia’s Comcast Center is packed with visitors of all ages eager to experience The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a 15-minute film shown on a video wall that is 25 feet high and 83 feet wide.
This year, for the first time since the show’s launch in 2008, visitors with hearing and vision impairments were able to experience the show through assistive technology. On a recent visit, students from the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf followed along thanks to closed captioning that identified speakers, sound effects, music, and singing. "The reaction from our students and staff was a collective ‘Wow!’" Head of School Marja Brandon said. "It’s great that we can now take part in a holiday tradition that is shared by so many."
Low-vision viewers and the blind also participated. A group from the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind enjoyed the show thanks to narration describing key visual elements, including costumes, gestures, facial expressions, and scene changes.
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular has attracted more than 1 million visitors since its debut. It includes performances from The Nutcracker, a sleigh ride over downtown Philadelphia, and world-class ice skaters, all of which culminate in a gentle snow fall from the lobby’s ceiling. "When we created The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, we wanted to bring the most technologically-advanced experience for all to enjoy throughout the holiday season," said Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. "This year, with the addition of assistive technology, we were delighted to bring the joy and entertainment of the show to those who may not have been able to experience it before."
Comcast Cares Day Save the Date
Spring may feel a long way off, but our Community Investment teams across the country are already hard at work planning this year’s Comcast Cares Day. Help make this annual tradition another success for our communities nationwide. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 25, and volunteer to make change happen.
Inside CI Pop Quiz
As a global media and technology company, developing the next generation of engineers is crucial to our business; and with jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) expected to grow twice as fast as other fields by 2018, technology training is also crucial to our economy. That’s why Comcast invests in STEM initiatives, such as the FIRST® Robotics Competition, which aims to educate and inspire today’s youth to pursue the technology jobs of tomorrow.
According to STEMConnector.org, how many STEM jobs will the U.S. need to fill in 2018?
A. 5 million
B. 8 million
C. 10 million
D. 13 million
Please email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org and note "Inside CI Pop Quiz" in the subject line. Correct responses will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift card. Only Comcast NBCUniversal employees are eligible to win. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 13, 2015.
Questions, Comments, Story Ideas
Send your questions, comments, and story ideas to Marcia Gelbart, Communications Director for Community Investment, at email@example.com or (215) 286-8127.