The Impact of Mentorship on Today's Youth
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Carlos Lejnieks, President & CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties, to talk about the positive impact of mentorship on today’s youth, the Bigs in Blue program and the on-going need for mentors, especially in underserved cities.
"I love that music. This is one on one, I'm Steve Adubato. This young man... that's Carlos Lejnieks who is president and CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties. Good to see you, my friend. Thank you for having me Steve How long you been doing this? It's been a blessing… I've been here for a decade at Big Bro- over a decade for Big Brothers Big Sisters. So I appreciate you calling me young. You are young. You're a young man. And you're doin good things. By the way, describe the organization. I know it... Mm-hmm. Others know what from you being with us in the past... Tell folks what you do. For sure. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been around for over a century based on a universal human need that every child needs a positive regular adult in their life, in their corner. And over a decade ago, we started our program in Essex Hudson and Union County, based on hope and possibility, but without a formal program. And in 2008, little did we know that the financial world would collapse... Mm-Hmm. But we had a couple of angel investors... Josh Weston, Ray chambers, The simons Foundation, Les Quick, Rose Cali... That allowed us to launch into our maiden voyage mentoring young people based out of Newark in Jersey City. A decade later, we serve several thousand kids, we've grown tenfold in our program and now we're... We're celebrating that momentum with new corporate partners... a lot of our mutual friends. Who are some of the friends? Absolutely... So, ADP for sure has been a stalwart for our organization. And as a newfound friend, Valley National Bank and Ira and Yvonne... They've been extraordinarily supportive as we lit- catalyze our growth in different counties. We cover Essex, Hudson and Union, but they're really helpful to grow our program in a Bigs in Blue partnership. Bigs in Blue? Talk about that. Absolutely. So we launched... in partnership with the Union County Chosen Freeholders... their current chairman and... The government of Union County? Absolutely. Go ahead. Because they do not have a County Executive, if I'm not mistaken... Go ahead. And what they did essentially was they saw the best practices that we were able to do in Essex, Hudson... The freeholders? The freeholders did. And they solicited a public private partnership... in partnership with Valley national, to grow our Bigs in Blue program, knowing that crime prevention... the best way to crime... to prevent crime is to make sure it doesn't happen in the first place. so with the power of one-to-one mentoring... all..."