NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – It’s another big step forward.

A total of 13 third, fourth, and fifth grade students from New Brunswick’s Livingston Elementary School – all of whom were enrolled by their families – are now engaged in mentoring relationships with six select New Brunswick High School students.

This arrangement represents an expansion of the ongoing program between New Brunswick Public Schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey, which began during the 2018-2019 school year, when 18 district high school students were mentored by St. Peter’s University Hospital staff members.

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“Our district’s relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters can change young people’s lives,” explains Aubrey Johnson, superintendent of New Brunswick Public Schools. “That’s why we’re so excited about it expanding to include some of our elementary school students. This program enables children who are facing adversity of various types to engage in a professionally-supported, one-on-one relationship with a strongly positive role model.”

The Livingston Elementary School phase of the program – which kicked-off in November and will conclude in June 2020 – takes place every other week at the elementary school and features Big Brothers Big Sisters staff facilitating all mentoring sessions. The program with St. Peter’s University Hospital – which has featured presentations in the various hospital departments, hands-on tours, and various demonstrations – continues apace.

“Our organization has several mentoring program models, with one of the most effective being when a child interacts with their high school Big Brother or Big Sister right at school,” says BBBS Executive Director William Salcedo. “We have tremendous confidence in the potential of student leaders at New Brunswick High School to step up to the plate and inspire younger students as they help guide them on the right path.  We look forward to serving more youth in New Brunswick through these two mentoring programs that will ignite the potential in every child we serve.”