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Navy Federal employees making a difference in the lives of students

Navy Federal employees making a difference in the lives of students

There are companies that encourage their employees to volunteer in the community. One company is ramping up that encouragement by bringing the volunteer opportunity on site.

The employees who've signed on are having a tremendous impact on young lives.

Aaegiean Brown loves art. If there's a blank space anywhere, he's going to draw on it.

Autumn Hall proudly lays claim to being a tech savvy girl. They are two of the 28 Pine Forest High School students who are paired with mentors through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

These aren't your typical big/little pairings. Once a month, they're on the campus of Navy Federal Credit Union with their Bigs who have volunteered to be more than a friend.

"He told me he'd never really thought about going to college," said Chris Pinney with Navy Federal Mortgage Loan Operation. "He didn't think that was much of a reality for him and didn't really know that he could make a living off of his passion."

"It's helping her develop professionally and for the field that she's looking at, which is cyber security. We work very closely with that in information technology. So, it was a really good pairing," said Navy Federal IT Analyst Raeanne Loyed.

There are thousands of employees doing hundreds of different jobs at Navy Federal. Having mentors to share this real life workplace experience has exposed the students to a world of opportunities

"At first, I felt like maybe I didn't necessarily have a direction with where I wanted to go in life. And even if I don't work here at Navy Federal, I at least have some sort of a marker or cursor now to, sort of, help me with where to go as far as my life as an adult is concerned," Aaegiean said.

As typically happens in Big Brothers Big Sisters matches, strong bonds are formed between the pairs. The littles have someone to inspire them and to teach them the ropes.

"She's kinda who I would want to be when I grow up. Just everything that she's involved in and how far she's come," Autumn said about Raeanne. "That just means a lot to me that she takes time out of her day once a month to spend some time with me and help me get on the right track to be where she is."

Paula Shell, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said this partnership is paying dividends for all and she hopes other businesses will open their doors.

"They're making a difference right on site in their own workplace and they don't even have to go anywhere. So, we're bringing those littles directly to the workplace and the magic is happening right on site," she explained.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.

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