The Westside Gazette

Florida Panthers Hockey Club Launches Mentoring Program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County

Florida Panthers Hockey Club Launches Mentoring Program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County

      Fifteen Piper High School teenagers will learn all about Florida Panthers hockey and what it takes to run a large-scale arena while graspng workplace skills and understanding career opportunities as part of a new partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County and the Florida Panthers.  The School-to-Work program is designed to inspire the 10th and 11th graders to chase their dreams and understand their potential.

“We’re simply delighted to partner with the Florida Panthers in support of the kids we serve,” said Ana Cedeno, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County.  “The Panthers have created a remarkable dynamic that makes the program super fun for the kids.  They’re engaged on every level, thanks to their Panther employee mentors.”

Panther mentors will show

teenagers what it takes to put on a hockey game – from ticketing to ice maintenance – and give them a behind-the-scenes look at production of concerts and other large-scale events.  They’ll also be exposed to the business of a major league franchise and have the opportunity to attend a hockey game each month.

The Panthers’ School-to-Work program came to life thanks to Panthers Director of Corporate Partnerships, Anthony Hill, who has mentored Hezekiah, 12, for the past two years as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.  He saw the opportunity to connect the two organizations for the benefit of all involved, particularly the youth.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ School-to-Work partnership with the Panthers runs through May and will continue through the 2018-2019 academic year.  The proven mentoring program pairs corporate partners with high schools and middle schools to offer students career mentoring for four hours a month.

In addition to School-to-Work, the Florida Panthers partnership recently awarded a Community Champions Grant of $25,000 to revive Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Little Buddies program, focused on providing quarterly activities for youth on Big Brothers Big Sisters waitlist to promote youth development and community involvement.  Last year’s statewide Big of the Year Chad Van Horn and his Little Brother Desmond accepted the award on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters or Broward at halftime during a Panthers game.  In addition to being featured on the jumbotron, Desmond was thrilled to ride the Zamboni.


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