Gina Taylor of Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Sun Coast was the speaker at Jan. 21 dinner meeting of the Business and Professional Women of Englewood and Venice.

Taylor is vice president of communications for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast. The organization’s adult volunteers, have a tremendous impact in the life of children and young adults in our communities.

The Juvenile Justice Mentoring Initiative provides prevention and early intervention mentoring services to youth who are at high risk of entering the juvenile justice system and those who have already made contact with the system.

The BBBS Gateway to Success program helps at-risk students to help improve their grades to be promoted to the next grade. The Beyond School Walls is another very successful program. It allows senior high school students to meet with their mentors in a business setting, giving students the opportunity to experience what it means to work for a corporation, learn business etiquette, and identify educational requirements for professional success.

There are many more mentoring programs that BBBS offers, such as Sports Buddies, Reading Bigs, Big Futures. BBBS is always looking for volunteers to help continue this successful program that is helping youngsters, schools and the communities in which we live. If you are interested in becoming a BBBS mentor go to www.bbbssun.org.

BPWEV meets the third Tuesday of each month at the Plantation Golf and Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice. The mission of BPWEV is “To achieve equity for all women through Advocacy, Education and Information. Nationally, BPW celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019.

The organization believes strongly in “Women Helping Women.” To help achieve this, the group offers Adult Learner Scholarships to women who are returning to college or vocational schools to achieve higher education in order to provide better for their families.

All BPWEV meetings are open to the public and guests are always welcome. For more information, visit www.bpwev.org.

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