MAYOR BOLLWAGE PRESENTS COMMENDATIONS TO BIG BROTHER BIG SISTER PROGRAM AND PARTICIPANTS

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kelly Martins,Public Information Officer, 908-820-4124

MAYOR BOLLWAGE PRESENTS COMMENDATIONS TO BIG BROTHER BIG SISTER PROGRAM AND PARTICIPANTS

ELIZABETH, NJ—January 6, 2017— Earlier this morning in  Council Chambers at City Hall, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage joined members of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, Councilman-At-Large Manny Grova, Jr. and Assemblyman Jamel Holley at a press conference in recognition of participants Jesse Koblentz and Carlos Padilla, as well as the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Jesse dedicated his time mentoring Carlos over the years, guiding him on the right path. Carlos, who recently joined the US Army, will be leaving for basic training later this month. 

“This organization has such a profound impact on improving the lives of youth in our community,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “Today, I was proud to recognize both Jesse and Carlos, for not only their commitment to the program but to Jesse for playing an important role as a mentor for Carlos, who took the guidance and friendship and has now decided to give back to his Country. I wish him much success in his upcoming journey.”

According to members of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, “Little Brother” Carlos Padilla was paired with his mentor Jesse Koblentz for over four years through the organization. Before being matched, Carlos was at the most critical teenage stages of his life and having difficulty in school. Through the support of his “Big Brother,” Jesse, he received the encouragement to be his best self and in turn, graduated from Elizabeth High School. Wanting to pay it forward, he joined the Army and has committed himself to be a mentor to a child in his community once he graduates from the US Army.

“When Jesse came into my life, I had someone to follow - I had a Big Brother to talk to, someone that was always by my side, whether I did something right or wrong,” said Carlos. “Jesse is a really big part of my life and is the reason I am here today, standing in this uniform.”

For more than eight years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life through the power of one-to-one relationships. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country.

“I really didn't know what to expect joining the Big Brothers program, but when I was matched with Carlos, it seemed like it was just meant to be; he was just like me,” said Jesse. “Now he is going to the Army and I could not be prouder.”

In addition, January is National Mentoring Month, which is a campaign that promotes youth mentoring in the United States. It was inaugurated in 2002 and is spearheaded by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

For more information or to sign up for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, please call 973-642-2447.

 

 

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