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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach & Martin Counties Military Mentoring Program
Congressman Allen West, Dr. Angela West, Veteran and Mother Tamika McCray, BBBS staff and Palm Beach County military post members gathered at the Palm Beach County BBBS office this week to launch the first-of-its-kind Military Mentoring Program.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Military Mentoring Program will provide mentors for children of veterans and active duty service members so they realize their potential and build positive futures. The program’s goal is to provide a source of strength and stability for families that have sacrificed during deployments overseas. The program will encourage positive behaviors, develop new relationships, decrease child activity in risky behaviors, and strengthen family bonds. Children in these families often suffer from the stress and anxiety of being separated from their parents. BBBS wants to support these families by providing mentoring to the children in the hopes that it will help them cope in healthy ways. BBBS provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Yvette Flores, Air Force veteran and BBBS Match and Enrollment Specialist, has been working hard on developing this program. She was a Surgical Technologist at David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base in California and Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan. Her own experience being in the military has helped her to organize this project.
“We hope to make a positive impact in these children’s lives through Military Mentoring,” said Yvette Flores. “These children face many unique challenges. We want to encourage their healthy growth and ensure that they grow up understanding and appreciating the valuable service military members provide to the country.”
"Many people do not realize how many military families we have living right here in Palm Beach and Martin Counties," said Big Brothers Big Sisters Palm Beach and Martin Counties CEO Bill Bee. "Big Brothers Big Sisters is thrilled to be able to serve the children of our veterans. This program is a long time coming and our community will no doubt be better off because of it."
"As a 22-year Army veteran, I know personally the pain of leaving my own two daughters behind as I deployed to serve my country," West said. "The Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program will be a huge benefit to our local military families."
Photo Caption: (Left to Right)
Back Row-Congressman Allen West, Yvette Flores, Tamika McCray, William P. Bee, Jr.
Front Row- Jeremiah, Issaiah and Joshua
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties
BBBS provides children facing adversity aged 6-17 with volunteer mentors who serve as positive role models. Since 1986 the organization has provided mentors to children in Martin County and since July 2010 in Palm Beach County. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) recognized the Martin County organization in 2007 as one of the 35 best performing agencies nationwide. BBBSA recognized CEO William P. Bee Jr. as “CEO of the Year- Small Agency Category” in 2007. South Florida Business Leader Magazine ranked BBBS in 2009, 2010 and again in 2011 as one of the top 100 South Florida small businesses. Visit www.mentorbig.org to learn more.