Blackbaud Announces Major Gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters to Support a More Diverse Workforce of the Future
Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, announced it will make a multi-year, six-figure gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters to build greater equity, social capital and a stronger, more diverse global workforce.
Part of Blackbaud’s gift will support a new program called the BIG Beyond Scholar Program hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lowcountry in Charleston, S.C., where Blackbaud is headquartered. This program is one exemplification of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s strategic “Big Futures” framework, which seeks to build equitable approaches to strengthen career and post-secondary readiness among youth.
Key learnings from the local BIG Beyond Scholar Program in Charleston will be shared with hundreds of other Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies as the organization looks for new ways to prepare scholars around the world for life beyond graduation. In addition, Blackbaud will make gifts across the Big Brothers Big Sisters international network to support efforts to bridge the divide between education and employment for under-resourced youth around the world.
“For more than forty years, our company has invested in education and equity in our local communities,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO, Blackbaud. “We’re proud to make this contribution to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization to support college and career readiness for high-potential youth locally, nationally and internationally.”
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“Big Brothers Big Sisters and Blackbaud share a common commitment to bridging the opportunity gap for high potential and under-resourced youth, and building a diverse workforce,” said Merridith Crowe, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lowcountry. “Our scholars deserve every opportunity to engage successfully in our growing economy and to imagine they belong at companies like Blackbaud. Simultaneously, there is a need in the technology industry to foster the most inclusive workforce possible, as BIPOC teammates are highly underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Together, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Blackbaud can help address this problem with a real-world solution.”
Housed at James Island Charter High School, the BIG Beyond Scholar Program will invest in a cohort of 25-30 high-potential scholars each year, over the next three years. Scholars begin as sophomores and will be matched with mentors who will stay with them for three years as they develop an enhanced individual graduation plan. With the help of their parents, mentors, advisors and counselors, each scholar will build a plan to navigate educational and post-secondary choices such as career, trade programs, the military, or university and college. These mentoring relationships will also provide scholars with the highly valuable social and emotional support that is at the heart of mentorship.
Blackbaud’s gift will sponsor ten students in the program over three years. Students in the program will have the opportunity to complete a paid internship or summer youth employment opportunity, with Blackbaud or other companies supporting the initiative, prior to graduating high school. As part of this partnership, Blackbaud employees will have the opportunity to participate in different service and educational opportunities with Big Brothers Big Sisters, such as participating as mentors, being guest speakers or sharing their skills and experiences with students to create excitement around the possibility of careers in the STEM field.
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