January is national mentoring month, and Oregon/SW Washington Comcasters are celebrating the eighth year of our “Beyond School Walls” partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest. Twice a month, a yellow school bus full of 4th graders from William Walker Elementary School in Beaverton pulls up to our office for an hour of one-to-one camaraderie.
The time that the Comcast mentors (“Bigs”) and students (“Littles”) spend together is precious. Activities vary from meeting Miss Oregon to simply goofing off over lunch and chatting over a crossword puzzle. This month, we had a career fair for our students to learn about Comcast jobs and the skills needed to compete in today’s workplaces. It was serious fun—even including a “crawl space” at the technical operations station—complete with a fake snake and spider.
This mentoring program is a real commitment: Bigs and Littles stay together for four years. For Randall Rene, a Comcast engineering manager, the opportunity to mentor his Little Brother Henry is his way of paying it forward for the mentorship he received from his grandfather. Randall recently received his Masters in Business Administration from George Fox University and got to share his graduation day with Henry. Randall overcame a rough childhood himself, and he recognized the graduation as a milestone to model for his Little. (Congratulations, Randall!)
“One of the aspects I love about Big Brothers Big Sisters is the impact we have on the graduation rates of the children,” said Randall. “As a high school kid, I almost dropped out myself. I am thankful for the people who helped me then. I thought it would be special to share my day with Henry to see the celebration firsthand. Hopefully it plants a seed in his heart and helps steer him to do the same.”