Availity Takes Student Mentoring ‘Beyond School Walls’
2.03.2023 By Availity
Jacksonville, FL — February 3, 2023 — Availity, the nation’s largest real-time health information network, presented scholarships to students from Jean Ribault High School during a ceremony held at the company’s Jacksonville headquarters yesterday.
The event is a poignant highlight of the Beyond School Walls program, a long-standing partnership between Availity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida (BBBSNEFL), and Ribault to connect students one-to-one with mentors from Availity.
In addition to celebrating the students—several of whom have participated in the program for eight years—the event honored their workforce mentors at Availity. During the event, scholarships funded by Availity were presented to the students, in addition to special cords that will be worn at their upcoming graduation ceremonies.
“It has been wonderful to see the effect mentoring has had on both the students and the Availity mentors,” says Sara Alford, CEO of BBBSNEFL. “Yesterday’s celebration speaks to the power of community involvement to positively impact the lives and future of these young men and women.”
Availity created 11 scholarship opportunities with Florida Prepaid College Board to help students plan and prepare for their future at the college or trade school of their choice. One of the scholarships was named after Availity CEO Russ Thomas, who was present for the festivities.
“This is an exciting program not only for my students at Jean Ribault High School but for the community. Again, it allows them to get more into critical thinking skills, more communication, more collaboration,” says Ribault principal Dr. Gregory D. Bostic. “It allows them to look beyond the school walls and see what’s out there for them to do after they are finished with high school, go to college, and then decide their career choice.”
Availity launched the Beyond School Walls Program with BBBSNEFL in January 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the program to switch to virtual meetings until the 2022 school year kicked off in September, when Availity mentors welcomed their ‘BBBS Littles’ back to campus to focus on post-secondary plans, gaining workforce readiness, learning business and technology advancements and much more.
“As a company, we are committed to enriching the communities in which we work by contributing our time and our treasure,” says Jaynae Johnson, a Strategic Accounts Manager at Availity who guided many of the Beyond School Walls events and mentorship activities at the company. “Public/private partnerships to improve education are a great way to build sustainable communities. Working with BBBSNEFL and Ribault is an ideal partnership.”
Availity has deep roots in Florida, including community involvement on corporate and personal levels, and paid time off for employees who wish to volunteer. In fact, Availity’s commitment to Ribault extends back to 2012. Dozens of Availity associates have volunteered time and resources to deliver one-to-one mentoring, school supplies, and schoolground landscaping to the Ribault community.
Availity is the place where healthcare finds the answers needed to shift focus back to patient care. We work to solve communication challenges in healthcare by creating a richer, more transparent exchange of information among health plans, providers, and technology partners. As one of the nation's largest health information networks, Availity facilitates billions of clinical, administrative, and financial transactions annually. Our suite of dynamic products, built on a powerful, intelligent platform, enables real-time collaboration for success in a competitive, value-based care environment.
Director of Public Relations, Availity
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida’s (BBBSNEFL) mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters operates under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. By placing a caring adult in the life of a child, Big Brothers Big Sisters creates safe, high-quality, long-lasting mentoring relationships that help vulnerable youth not only beat the odds but change them and reach their full potential through personal and academic achievement. Professionally supported by our staff, individual roadmaps for success are developed in concert with parents, youth, and mentors.
We know that mentoring works! In 2021-22, 97% of youth were promoted on time to the next grade, 97% of youth had no behavioral referrals or suspensions and 95% of youth maintained or improved school attendance. The need for mentors is urgent; one in three kids will grow up without a mentor (mentor.org). It takes just a few hours a month to expose youth to new beginnings and opportunities through mentorship. Together, we are defenders of potential. To learn more or become a mentor, visit bbbsnefl.org.
Director of Communications & Outreach