Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the kick-off breakfast for a new program Conestoga Valley is participating in along with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region and Clark Service Group. The program is called Beyond School Walls, and it pairs six CV students with mentors from Clark Service Group. The “Bigs” and “Littles” will meet several times a year for the duration of the program.

This program is the first of its kind in Lancaster County. Beyond School Walls is designed to help equip students with a better understanding of soft skills, job readiness and the professional workplace. The curriculum-based program gives students an opportunity to go behind the scenes at Clark Service Group, and is graciously being funded by the Clark Foundation.

Last Thursday, the students met their mentors for the first time. The students received a list of facts about their new mentor, and had to interview all of the mentors at the event first to find which one was their match. Afterwards, the students had a light breakfast while listening to a few speakers discuss the program.

Clark Service Group employees hold a variety of different educational, technical, and professional backgrounds. That means that our students will have the chance to see how there are many paths to success after graduation.

Not only will this program help them develop 21st Century skills needed for success in the job market, but it will also allow them to experience first-hand a perspective not available through other opportunities. Though the program is starting small this year, we hope to see it continue to grow and impact more and more CV students throughout the years!

Kudos to Big Brothers Big Sisters, Clark Service Group and the Clark Foundation for making it possible to mentor our future difference-makers!

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