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StrengthBank Inc. Joins National Center for Youth Initiatives to Showcase Best-In-Class Corporate Volunteer Program

Submitted by: StrengthBank Inc.

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Volunteerism

Posted: May 29, 2007 – 11:19 PM EST

 

Mentoring Program Exhibits Study's Top 5 Reasons Companies Need To Volunteer; Only 22% Now Provide Compensated Volunteer Opportunities

May 29 /CSRwire/ - FORT WORTH, TX - May 29, 2007 - StrengthBank Inc. announces its participation in the 5th Annual Southwest "Healthy Choices for Youth" Conference sponsored by National Center for Youth Initiatives (NCYI). The event is to be held in Dallas, Texas, June 18-20 at the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum. Co-sponsors are Verizon, Pier 1 Imports, Amon G. Carter Foundation, and JIST Publishing. Sandra Shelton, founder and CEO will present StrengthBank Inc.'s corporate volunteer mentoring program: StrengthBank® For High Schools – A Relationship Skills Initiative - A professional growth curriculum for business volunteers that effectively equips today's workforce to mentor tomorrow's, i.e., corporate volunteers mentor high school teens during advisory periods twice a month. The "Healthy Choices" session will demonstrate that when corporate volunteers mentor youth, they fine-tune their own work/life relationship skills.

StrengthBank Inc. (SBI) answers the corporate volunteer strategy question: "How do we make a difference in our local high schools as the next generation prepares to come to our hiring table?"

Companies who ask this question know benefits come from community involvement. "Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation encourages its employees to reach out to communities through the Connect Volunteer Network.… During 2005, 728 Umpqua associates donated 11,573 volunteer hours to youth and education-focused programs. Additionally, the program saw a 65 percent increase in associate participation and a 78 percent increase in hours donated, compared to 2004. In April, 2006, Umpqua Bank polled employees to determine the impact of volunteerism. The results showed …employee loyalty, increased morale, encouraged a greater sense of satisfaction with employees’ current work environment and encouraged volunteerism in general." (Source: June 29, 2006, from Bend Weekly)

StrengthBank® Aligns To High School Reform's Personalized Learning Environments

"Breaking Ranks Model of High School Reform," a 1996 report by National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) on high schools of the 21st century identifies six interlocking elements…" the first being the need for a relationship skills initiative. "There is a strong correlation between student achievement and a personal connection to school. Research shows that students who have supportive learning environments with strong personal relationships have greater success in school, at work, and in the community. All school stakeholders have a shared responsibility to provide all students with the opportunities, guidance, and resources they need to become productive citizens in a global society and its future leaders."

Corporate Volunteering Benefits

"By engaging their employees in volunteer service, socially responsible organizations can play a valuable role in meeting the social needs of our community, while simultaneously strengthening their organizations.

Top 5 Reasons Companies Volunteer:

1. It's part of being a good corporate citizen
2. It's part of the corporate culture
3. It's the "right thing to do"
4. It enhances team building
5. It generates corporate/business benefits
(Source-LBG Associates: Measuring Corporate Volunteerism)

Benefits to the Company:

  • Helps employees find work/life balance and improves employee recruitment, morale and retention
  • Helps convey a positive, socially responsible corporate image
  • Strengthens relationships with coworkers
  • Enhances teamwork and collaboration resulting in increased productivity

    Benefits to your Employees:

    "Volunteering in the community can help you get ahead at work" an opinion poll released by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP agreed.

  • 86% said that volunteering had a positive impact on their careers
  • 78% saw volunteering as an opportunity to develop business skills including decision making, problem solving and negotiating; and
  • 73% strongly agreed that volunteering offers the opportunity to enhance leadership skills
    Benefits to the Community:
  • Bridges the gap between businesses and communities
  • Engenders trust in the community
  • Motivates others to get involved
  • Addresses real community needs 365 days a year
    Source: www.nycares.org

    National organizations see the need for corporate volunteers in the local communities

    "One goal of USA Freedom Corps is to encourage small businesses and large corporations alike to… enable employees to achieve a greater level of civic engagement… by championing 'best-in-class' initiatives....service and citizenship programs ... on a corporate-wide basis where a significant portion of a company's workforce volunteers ...in the communities where they live and work… Currently, it is estimated that 22% of companies have adopted this growing best practice approach, the results of which have been a significant increase in the level of employee participation. (Source: www.usafreedomcorps.gov/for_orgs/businesses/best_practices.asp)

    "A new federal report found that 61.2 million Americans volunteered in 2006 "Volunteering in America: 2007 State Trends and Rankings in Civic Life," is the second annual study by the Corporation for National and Community Service that gives a detailed breakdown of America's volunteering habits and patterns … provides the agency's first-ever ranking of levels of civic engagement by state through a new Civic Life Index… While volunteering remains at historically high levels compared to past decades, the volunteer rate declined between 2005 and 2006…Of the 65.4 million people who volunteered in 2005, 20.9 million did not continue to volunteer in 2006, the highest attrition rate in four years." (Source: April 16, 2007, PRNewswire-USNewswire)

    SBI sees the opportunity to decrease the corporate volunteer drop out rate along with the high school drop out rate!

    As engagement experts, SBI enjoys a 98% success rate, that is, participants demonstrate better-focused lives as reported by corporate mentors, high school teachers, parents, snack donors, and the students. For example, one student in 2005, came in to the last three StrengthBank® Talk Groups for the year decidedly uninterested and intent on dropping out of school. He was "marking time" and trying to a repeat assignment to the alternative high school campus. Because of the encouragement he found from his peers and the StrengthBank® Talk Group mentor, he came back the next fall and passed every subject his first 9 weeks!

    StrengthBank® For High Schools Participant Feedback
    StrengthBank® Business Volunteer Mentor Testimonials

    "The best thing about being a mentor with the StrengthBank Talk Groups is the interaction with the students. I enjoy seeing the children truly understand the concepts that we are trying to share with them, to see them get that “networking” and opening your eyes to others can truly enhance their lives. After we do the first few exercises and they learn things about each other realizing that they have things in common with someone they may have shrugged off in the past. It is a gift to be able to give to young adults and students, helping them to become the best they can be. I get so much out of this opportunity."

    StrengthBank® Talk Group Teen Testimonials

  • I would like to say as you sophomores begin this journey (directed to upcoming Sophomores from graduating Seniors): . . . that you should actually take it seriously. If you're like me when someone gets up and talks, especially since it is not for a grade, you tend to zone out and not pay attention so well. I can tell you that I did this to our StrengthBank® talk group mentor for too long before I realized that what she was saying was actually useful, and makes good sense. Learn about what she has to say, and it will be fun anyways. She (the StrenthBank® Mentor) only wants you to be more successful so give the mentor a chance to. Good luck with your first year in high school and have fun.- Nick (Class of 2004)

  • you will actually love your StrengthBank® Talk Group! It is fun and everyone opens up to talk and is not intimidated by anyone.! If you are not sure what you want to do with yourself when you graduate, you will be the end of this year! Most importantly, you will find out so much about yourself. - Jennifer (Class of 2004)

  • don't worry it will be fun! In this StrengthBank® Talk Group you will be working on using your strengths, and even your weaknesses to make any volatile situation something that is diffusible! Remember to make a network of friends because you will need them sometime in high school; trust me, I needed mine multiple times every year! Best of luck, you might need, but don't let that sound too ominous, you'll do fine. - Quinn (Class of 2004)"

    StrengthBank® Talk Group High School Faculty Testimonials

    "It is impossible to calculate what focus on a student’s StrengthBank® can do, and sometimes in the very moment the student sees himself or herself so correctly that he or she realizes why relational things have not been working. An in-school detention student, for example, realized for the first time that the behavior he was exhibiting that keeps him in trouble is the same behavior he needs for his life’s dream. Then he focused on now change behavior more appropriately but not because he was avoiding punishment but because he wanted to be in the core curriculum to achieve the purpose for his life. Amazing! Dating relationships inevitably come up and the opportunities to guide life elections is unlimited. The kids will talk about what they don’t understand and help each other to get this most peer-pressure area under StrengthBank® control."

    "...the kids became more tolerant and seemed to show a kinder side. They were also able to open up and the comparison to specific animals was very beneficial."

    "...what I liked best was getting to know what your students are thinking about life. The students complete the class with more confidence and increased self-esteem. They feel better about themselves as they open up about issues they are concerned with. I feel I understand how to keep discovering and using more of my own StrengthBank® as a testimony for the kids. Students who were shy, started talking. Easier to talk to/with all students as they showed better confidence and increased self-esteem. Students set goals – more focused on going to college. Students talked more about fulfilling their goals and what they dream to be. Very few students spent time in in-school suspension. Before this class, several were regular in-school suspension participants. I would just like to say that I love the StrengthBank® program!"

    StrengthBank® Talk Group Parent Testimonial

    "Well I am sure you noticed Robert has a positive attitude most of the time. We have talked several times about StrengthBank. He has nothing but good and positive thing to say. In fact, his eyes light up and you can see and hear the enthusiasm that he has for the class. He talks about advice and suggestions the class received from you and your guest speakers [mentors]. Robert has an attitude that will make him successful in anything he ventures into. Even though Robert has a natural positive attitude, I feel the StrengthBank class has broadened his mind. …I know I wish we had a StrengthBank class when I was in school. Thanks for asking for the feedback."

    About StrengthBank Inc.

    StrengthBank Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The company was formed and curriculum developed in 2000 from the discovered need in corporate environments for an effective way for businesses to connect to the next generation's workforce while achieving greater engagement in work itself. Founder and CEO, Sandra Shelton, BA, MEd. CTACC, is an engaging international speaker, author, and workplace engagement consultant. Her book The StrengthBank® Principle is the business volunteer certification manual. StrengthBank® strategies not only mentor working adults from disengagement to productivity but also mentor youth from backpacks to briefcases.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Sandra Shelton StrengthBank Inc.
    Phone: 817 230 4523
    Phone 2: 817 714 7377

    For more from this organization:

    StrengthBank Inc.

     

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