Beth Reitz

Beth Reitz

Teen mentoring in Ponoka gets some dough

Money donated by the Boston Pizza Foundation to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) programming is going to go a long way in developing

Money donated by the Boston Pizza Foundation to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) programming is going to go a long way in developing teen mentoring in Ponoka.

Ponoka’s BBBS program just received a grant of $10,000 from the organization that has joined forces with BBBS Canada. BBBS executive director for Ponoka Beth Reitz says this is going to benefit a youth mentoring program that has seen growth in the last two years.

This is their second year of full programming and she says they have 23 teen mentors at Ponoka Elementary School (PES) and their goal is to have 30 by the end of the year. The program gives older youths a chance to work closely with younger students and is intended to help the transition from PES to Ponoka Secondary Campus.

“The goal is for us to bridge the gap between the older kids and younger kids,” said Reitz.

Older students will be able to get school credit for their efforts, which may help them further their education. Reitz says the high school finds students who want to participate and PES finds students that need mentoring and BBBS takes care of the screening and matching.

Boston Pizza owner Natalie Reglin is pleased Ponoka’s BBBS is able to take advantage of the grant and she looks forward to working with them on other projects in the future. “We’re excited about what the future holds.”

In a press release, the Boston Pizza Foundation has stated they have made a $300,000 commitment to support two programs in BBBS Canada.

“Through our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, we are committed to providing kids with access to mentors and role models that inspire them to thrive, succeed and realize their individual goals,” said Cheryl Treliving, executive director of the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects.

For more information on becoming a mentor call 403-783-3112.