Pensacola, Fla. (May 18, 2022) – Pen Air Federal Credit Union (Pen Air) Big Little duo receive BIG accolades from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida (BBBS). Big Sister Jill Cumbia was recently named the 2022 Beyond School Walls Big of the Year while Little Sister Cassady was selected as a 2022 BBBS LEAP Start Scholarship recipient.
“We are so grateful for the partnership with Pen Air Federal Credit Union and mentors, like Jill Cumbia,” says Jessica Prather, Continuing Education Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. “The final years of high school are such an important and delicate time for these students as they decide on their next steps in their life. Having an additional mentor in the workplace introduces them to new opportunities they may not have known about or known were achievable for them.”
Beyond School Walls is a BBBS initiative aimed toward helping students improve their graduation rate and transitioning into the workplace, post-secondary education, vocational, or even military service. At Pen Air, employees are matched with a Washington High School Junior, committing to a two-year mentorship. Once matched, Littles and Bigs meet once a month, to receive workplace exposure during the school year. Over the course of the relationship, Bigs provide Littles with a positive influence, post-graduation guidance, interview tips and more. Pen Air has been a proud partner for the Beyond School Wall’s program for four years.
“I only had older siblings growing up which helped me to always have a relatable and accessible example of the next stage in my life,” says Jill Cumbia, Digital Products and Services Specialist for Pen Air Federal Credit Union. “You always hear ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Through Big Brother Big Sisters, I got to become part of the village! Being a ‘Big’ has impacted my life significantly over the past two years. Teenagers have so much good to offer! They can teach us to prioritize our friendships, to be authentic, and to be vocal about the issues affecting oneself and others. My little and her group give me so much faith in our future generations.”
Little Sister Cassady plans to attend the University of West Florida to pursue a degree in Biology.