Norwalk, CT (PRWEB) May 04, 2011
Connolly was named to the honor roll of the Connecticut 2010 Governor’s Prevention Partnership on April 18 as a result of the efforts of five Connolly employees. George Marrazzo, Director of Data Services; Jason Lee, Manager, Data Services; Stephanie Schwartz, HR Generalist I; Mike Spellman, Connolly Business Systems Analyst; and Christina Askenback, Data Center Coordinator provide ongoing volunteer mentoring to K – 12 students through the Norwalk Mentor Program. Mike Spellman’s wife, Alex, also participates.
“Connolly’s mentors are absolutely terrific,” said Jackie Effren, Norwalk Mentor Program Director. “The mentees need a positive role model, friendship and someone who will listen, which helps them get through whatever challenges they are facing. That’s exactly what I see the Connolly mentors doing so well.” Mentees are identified by their school social workers as being in need of extra help due to self esteem and other behavioral issues. Mentors can choose a student from any grade in any one of 19 public Norwalk schools. Mentors spend an hour a week with their assigned student playing games, engaging in structured activities, or just listening. This is Connolly's first year participating in the program which the internal Employee Activity Committee instigated. The EAC is an internal volunteer committee that provides community liaison opportunities and staff activities designed to encourage work- life balance for the nearly 200 Wilton Audit Support Center employees. The group is a highly visual representation that reinforces the values of the company.
“I got involved in the program to help a child in distress,” said George Marrazzo, a member of the EAC He mentors an eight year old boy whose father is no longer a part of the family, and who is experiencing anger issues and other difficulties. “My goal is to provide stability and act as a role model.”
“I work with a 12-year-old girl who lost her mother a few years ago and who attends the same middle school in Norwalk that I did,” said Christina Askenback, also an EAC member. “She was recently adopted and I am an adoptee, so the social workers thought we would be well matched. It has been a great experience.”
“I am mentoring a bright “at risk” 8th grader who moved from Brooklyn to Connecticut because his male role models were incarcerated,” said Jason Lee, Manager, Data Services. “He had several outbursts his first year in Norwalk and was sent to a special school for six months, but now he is back in the regular school and is doing much better. His grades have gone up and he is even talking about college. I plan to mentor him next year as well.”
The Norwalk Mentor Program recently celebrated “25 Years of Changing Lives” with a celebration at Norwalk’s Stepping Stones Children’s Museum which drew more than 400 people. The Connolly employees who are mentors work at the company’s Audit Support Center in Wilton, Connecticut. Connolly was recently voted one of the Best Places to Work in Connecticut by the Best Companies Group.
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is a not-for-profit partnership that was created in 1989 between state government and business leaders who have a mission to keep Connecticut’s youth safe, successful and drug-free. The Prevention Partnership provides leadership and services to help schools, communities, youth organizations, colleges and businesses create and sustain quality programs in these core areas.
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