Associates from JM Family Enterprises with School-to-Work mentees: Andy Eccher, Pete Sudler, Melvyn, Jay Graff, Colin Brown, Christian, Norvel Bethel, Jamie Horowitz (back row), Michelle Esposito, Christina Allien, Troy, Tariq, Nicholas Bosse, Ana Cedeno (middle row), Alexandra, Carrie Warburton, Tanesha Clarke, Emma, Julie, Kaleigh, Brianna, Leilani ReedLogan, Marvin, Autumn and C’estquea (front).


Staff Report

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – JM Family Enterprises, Inc., in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County recently launched a School-to-Work mentoring program to help middle school students understand career opportunities, learn the value of workplace skills and inspire them to achieve their dreams.

The nine-month program kicked off with a half-day tour of JM Family’s Deerfield Beach headquarters where 11 Deerfield Beach Middle School students learned about the company and met their mentors, associates spanning the company’s business units and corporate functions.

“We’re proud to offer this School-to-Work program to help these young students see program their potential and aspire to great achievement in the workplace and in life,” said Colin Brown, chairman and CEO of JM Family.

“This new program, and our long-standing partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County, supports our company’s spirit of giving back to our community, particularly in the areas of nurturing children and promoting education.”

School-to-Work pairs corporate partners with high schools and middle schools to offer students career mentoring for four hours a month during a nine-month period.

The initial meeting generated excitement among the children, ages 11-13 , who immediately expressed their appreciation for the program.

“Even as young as they are, these kids recognize the value of this program – they are incredibly enthusiastic as were the JM Family associates,” said Ana Cedeno, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. “We’re just thrilled to have a company with the stature and reputation of JM Family stand with us to launch this inaugural program. We feel sure additional companies will follow its lead and are hopeful School-to-Work will offer another avenue of bringing important, life-changing mentoring opportunities to children in need in our county.”

Helping children is foundational to JM Family’s corporate philanthropy. The company is committed to supporting meaningful programs and partnerships that contribute to stronger families in the communities where its associates live and work.

This spirit of giving back was evident in the enthusiasm showed by the JM Family’s leadership and associates participating in the program.

School-to-Work came into being as a result of the generosity and community focus of JM Family combined with the innovative work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Ana Cedeno presented the idea to Kim Bentley, assistant vice president of Corporate Philanthropy, who recognized how it fit perfectly into the company’s philanthropic efforts.

“JM Family is pleased to be a resource to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County and to the children whose lives are changed for the better by this mentorship program,” said Bentley. “Our hope is that this collaborative effort sets these students on a course to explore their possibilities and see themselves as future business leaders.”