Wyndham Vacation Ownership Mentors 15 Youth on Waiting List for up to Seven Years
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 26, 2013) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida has launched its partnership with Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), a member of Wyndham Worldwide’s (NYSE: WYN) family of companies, and the first industry leading hospitality company in Central Florida to support its Workplace Mentoring Program. This partnership allows Big Brothers Big Sisters to reduce its waiting list of more than 1,600 youth — welcoming 15 children to the program who otherwise would not have the opportunity. Some of the children have been waiting between one to seven years to receive a mentor. The partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters is part of a larger Wyndham Worldwide initiative that was first introduced at the Company’s headquarters in Parsippany, NJ, in 2012.
More than 35 WVO employees –– from manager to executive level –– will become “Bigs” to children throughout the Central Florida area. Over the next six months, the students will be transported to the WVO corporate office in Orlando where employees will volunteer their time, meeting with their “Littles” in an effort to develop their skills and serve as positive role models –– creating meaningful, one-on-one mentoring relationships.
“We are so excited to have Wyndham join our Big Brothers Big Sisters family and can’t thank them enough for their support in changing the lives of youth in the Central Florida community,” said Jada Smith, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida. “Workplace mentoring not only allows companies to give back to their community, it provides the opportunity to give back to their employees as well — and we can’t wait to hear the success stories of grades improved, self-esteem increased and lives enhanced.”
The Workplace Mentoring Program is designed to improve the students’ access to employment through education, mentoring and skills development –– keeping students in school, out of trouble and advancing to the next grade level with the ultimate goal of reaching high school graduation and post-graduate success. The program also helps to increase the odds that students will avoid risk-taking behaviors, develop leadership skills and succeed as adults.
“WVO shares a similar mission with Big Brothers Big Sisters to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children across the globe,” said Sarah King, executive vice president, Human Resources, WVO. “It’s wonderful that we’re able to leverage the skills of our talented employees and provide support and guidance for these children regarding topics like resume writing, interview techniques and goal setting, all while enriching their lives at the same time.”
In its 37-year history of serving the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida has helped at-risk youth reach their greatest potential. In the past year alone, nearly 700 “Littles” aged 6 through 18 have participated in the program, drastically improving their academic performance, self-esteem and overall behavior.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida provides one-on-one mentoring for at-risk youth throughout Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard and Lake Counties, Florida. For more information, please visit www.bbbscfl.org.
About Wyndham Vacation Ownership
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, a member of Wyndham Worldwide’s (NYSE: WYN) family of companies, is the world’s largest vacation ownership business, as measured by the number of vacation ownership resorts, individual vacation ownership units and owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its four primary consumer brands, CLUB WYNDHAM®, WorldMark® by Wyndham, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Shell Vacations. As of December 31, 2012, Wyndham Vacation Ownership had developed or acquired more than 185 vacation ownership resorts throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and the South Pacific that represent more than 23,000 individual vacation ownership units and more than 920,000 owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and is supported by more than 15,000 employees globally.