EBSCO employees Big Brothers, Sisters for VES studentsPublished 4:57pm Friday, November 8, 2013
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer
VINCENT – As part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ renewed presence in Shelby County, which was announced Oct. 16, EBSCO Industries has partnered with the non-profit organization to provide adult mentors to at-risk students at Vincent Elementary School. More than a dozen EBSCO employees have been matched with students so far.
Debra Hollis, who works with Vulcan Information Packaging, a division of EBSCO, said several employees got involved after their plant manager asked if employees would be interested in volunteering.
“We had a lot of people really interested who wanted to do it,” Hollis said. “They came out and started interviewing us. We had tons of paperwork to fill out, but we were accepted and we had the chance to meet our children this week.
“I just hope I can do something a little extra (for my student) and go down there and visit and spend time with her one-on-one.”
Shannon Burrell, who also works for Vulcan Information Packaging, said she got involved because she felt like it would be a good cause to support.
“It’s a good way to connect and feel like you’re doing something good for somebody who needs it,” Burrell said.
Burrell, who has four grandsons and a math-related job, was paired with a boy who loves math.
“I was worried at first that he wouldn’t talk or that he would be shy, and he’s not,” she said. “I had a questionnaire to ask him when we met, and I was really impressed with some of his answers. I really just want to be there for him if he needs to talk to me about anything.”
Burrell also said she is grateful to EBSCO for allowing employees to participate in the program.
“I think it’s a good opportunity and really great of EBSCO to let us do this, letting us going down there during our work time,” she said. “It’s great they decided to get involved in this. I think it’s a very worthwhile operation, and everything I’ve seen so far I’ve been very pleased with.”