Big Brothers Big Sisters Lehigh Valley recently received $35,000 from Embassy Bank in Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) funding to support its High School Bigs Program in the Bethlehem Area School District. Since 2013, Embassy Bank has contributed upwards of $100,000 towards the program and has helped to fund the creation of more than 70 one-to-one mentoring relationships.
“To say that we are grateful for Embassy Bank’s $35,000 donation would be a sincere understatement,” CEO Susan Bartels said. “The bank’s funding has long played an essential role in helping our agency grow this program into one of our most successful mentoring programs in the Lehigh Valley. We thank them for their consistent generosity.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to support Big Brothers Big Sisters Lehigh Valley’s High School Bigs Program again this year,” Kristin Wannisky, Vice President of Marketing at Embassy Bank said. “There is a tremendous need for strong mentoring initiatives in Lehigh and Northampton Counties, and we are glad to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help them grow this very valuable program.”
As an approved program under EITC guidelines, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lehigh Valley receives funds from local businesses to support the expansion of the High School Bigs Program in the Bethlehem Area School District.The program pairs elementary school students from Thomas Jefferson and Governor Wolf Elementary Schools with high school Bigs from Liberty and Freedom High Schools, respectively.
Bartels said the agency has matched nearly 50 elementary school children with high school mentors through the High School Bigs Program in the 2013-2014 academic year already.
All funds received through the EITC program go directly toward the in-depth screening and interviewing process for all Bigs and Littles, as well as the staff and training necessary to create a mentoring match. The agency’s High School Bigs Program has statistically demonstrated the ability to help students achieve greater educational success and self-confidence, avoid risky behaviors, and enjoy better relationships with classmates and family members.