BELLOWS FALLS - Youth Services' newest employee is Janice Berube, recently hired as Rockingham coordinator for its Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program in Windham County, Vt.
Berube is supporting and advancing the mission, goals, and objectives of this award-winning mentoring program in the greater Rockingham area while she increases the number of children served and the longevity of matches through training and community outreach. She will also be developing corporate, community and institutional partnerships that can provide potential volunteers and financial support to maintain this program which has no cost for participation.
Berube has been the owner of Curves in Bellows Falls since 2006 where she fine-tuned her skills in sales, marketing and public relations developed during the last decade. Prior to purchasing the fitness center franchise Berube was a sales representative for Richco Products of Springfield, Mass. There she was responsible for 100 accounts throughout Vermont. During the last two years, Berube also was employed as a merchandiser for Advantage Sales and Marketing of Virginia, for whom she set up displays, conducted inventory control and interacted with store management and reset teams.
No stranger to Windham County's mentoring program, Berube has a firsthand knowledge of the rewards of volunteering as a "Big," having been matched with a special "Little Sister" for four years and counting. "Janice knows how easy it can be to start a friendship with a "Little" one hour a week, during the school day, afterwards, or on a weekend," said Rob Szpila, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Being a "Big" has put magic into her life, and she wants to do the same for others, according to Berube. "Taking a walk, sharing a conversation, listening to music; it doesn't have to be expensive," she explained.
"Janice is organized, intentional and inspiring in her actions," said Szpila of his newest employee.
"She melds her excitement about mentoring with strong organizational thinking to drive program outcomes and reach new goals-all which should prove to be assets in expanding mentoring opportunities," he said. "Janice comes to us with the right mix of marketing, business, and communication skills to excel in her new role coordinating the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program in Rockingham."
Nearly two hundred children in Windham County and nearby New Hampshire currently benefit from the program and are matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister.
Research shows Little Brothers and Little Sisters are: 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs; 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol; 52 percent less likely to skip school; and more confident about their academic performance in school.
To find out how you can get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, call Janice Berube at Parks Place at 463-9927 or visit www.youthservicesinc.org. Call to RSVP to an Ice Cream Social on June 3, from 5-7 p.m. to meet Berube.