A group of New Jersey Alumni Services members recently volunteered at a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties, a one-on-one mentoring program for disadvantaged children. Arthur Townes, the New Jersey Alumni Services director, arranged for bowling team volunteers, aptly named Team CHANGE!, to participate in the event.
This is the third bowling event New Jersey Alumni Services members have participated in for the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. They joined other teams representing corporate sponsors and local organizations for a good cause.
“It is with great pride that we give our time and effort to help this important organization,” Townes said. “As individuals who give back to others, we understand the importance of mentoring, and we are pleased to be of service to Big Brothers Big Sisters, who do a great job helping children in need.”
Alumni Services is comprised of individuals who have completed GEO Reentry programming and are now working toward lives in the community as crime- and drug-free individuals. As former residents, participants receive a full continuum of evidence-based reentry programming that promotes a pro-social lifestyle. Reentry programming provides cognitive-behavioral treatment, substance abuse programming, educational and vocational training, family services and counseling to help individuals successfully transition to the community.
New Jersey Alumni Services is an active group that holds monthly meetings at facilities around the state. Members have an opportunity to connect with those currently involved in the criminal justice system and act as mentors for them after release, providing information on employment, housing and 12-Step programs in the community. Members also continue to participate in community service events, giving back to society in a positive way and demonstrating that change is possible. They keep an active schedule of volunteer work that includes city and park cleanups, back-to-school drives, collections for food and clothing for the needy, children’s learning activities and public speaking.
“We return to let current residents know change is possible and life can be lived crime- and drug-free; it can be done,” Townes said. “We carry the message of reunited families, educational and vocational achievements, and the support system of our members.”
Congrats to Team CHANGE! for setting a successful example of positive lifestyles and devoting their time to furthering the capabilities of Big Brothers Big Sisters.