WE’RE GETTING OUTDOORS THIS MONTH
If there is anything we’ve learned from the past year, it’s the importance of experiencing nature and getting moving. That’s why we wanted to go on a journey with all of you this summer in our summer challenges, July’s #BBSINature, and August’s #BBSIMovement!
By participating in our weekly challenges, you are entered into a draw at the end of the month for a $50 Uber Eats Gift Card*! Keep reading to learn how to enter.
We’ve released our first THREE challenges on social media, and we’re giving our Newsletter followers a sneak peek at challenge four!
1. Take a photo of your favorite outdoor space!
2. Show us your favorite way to spend time outdoors!
3. Visit an outdoor spot you’ve never been to before!
4. In your own words, what does being outdoors mean to you?
TO ENTER EITHER:
1. Tag us in your post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram, and use #BBSINature
2. Send us your completed challenge in our DMs or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each photo will count as one entry, with a maximum of 5 entries.
We can’t wait to see you get outside with us this month!
HEARTFUL MEDITATION WITH PRIYA
Click the video above to add a little calm to your day!
At Benchmark, we have an extensive network of people and organizations that we admire for the work they do in our community. We wanted to highlight some of these incredible organizations to raise awareness for the work they do and showcase the best examples of what we believe are the pillars of our community.
This month we are highlighting Jennifer Wilson and DAREarts, an organization that provides students across Canada, aged 9-17, with an arts-based curriculum that allows them to explore concepts such as identity, self-confidence, communication, goal-setting, and healthy relationships through a variety of artistic disciplines. This arts-based education allows students to develop leadership skills and grow through the DAREarts programs to give back to their communities. Read Jennifer’s full interview about DAREarts below:
1. Tell us about the work the foundation does and the programs you run?
We provide young people with the opportunity for a turning point. We work with youth from underserved communities who face a variety of barriers associated with systemic racism, food insecurity, challenging home environments, and social isolation. These students are underrepresented in leadership opportunities and are often told damaging narratives from a young age about their potential and capacity in life. We see the sheer brilliance in every child, celebrate their unique qualities, and provide them with safe and creative spaces to explore their feelings and frustrations. Using arts-based education combined with a leadership curriculum, we explore concepts such as identity, self-confidence, communication, goal-setting, and healthy relationships through a variety of creative experiences. Our programs introduce students to an array of artistic disciplines including music, dance, drama, post-production for TV & film, fashion design, and photography, and culinary arts, just to name a few. Students develop leadership skills from the inside out; beginning with themselves, and growing through our programs to focus on their community. Our programs run for students age 9-17 across Canada.
2. What are some of the foundation’s biggest accomplishments to date?
We have served over 20,000 young people in our 25-year history. The number of young lives transformed by our programs is countless. Recently, we have grown our BC programs from serving 70 students annually to over 700. We have also grown our YLI program for high school students across Canada.
3. What challenges has DAREarts had to overcome?
As a charity, we face daily challenges associated with getting the message of our work out to more people. Our funding is dependent on a number of factors, including our ability to share our story and our impact on a larger scale, which can be hard on a grassroots budget. COVID presented a number of challenges associated with program delivery formats, and access to technology for our students. We pivoted very quickly in order to meet the social and emotional development needs of our students, who were hardest hit by the pandemic.
4. What sets DAREarts apart from other organizations in your community?
One of our biggest differentiators is that students don’t self-select for our programs. We target students who are unlikely to raise their hand for the opportunity because they are the very students slipping through the cracks. Instead, teachers and principals select students who need the opportunity the most. These are often the students who are left behind; the students who are either disengaged from their school life (academically and socially) or who are disruptive to it. Both of these student populations need to hear the message that they matter, that they are worth investing in and that they have the same potential as every other child.
5. What are the goals for the future of DAREarts?
We hope to grow our programs to many more cities and provinces across Canada in order to reach thousands of more students on an annual basis. We currently serve 1,300 students each year and our goal is to serve 5,000 students annually, within the next three years. This will require a $3M budget and significant growth for the organization. We are also focused on a goal of service continuity, building on our high school programs just launched in 2020, we hope to see students through many years of service with us, to build a supportive community around them, that empowers them right through their transition to high school and into their early adult life.
When the Pandemic started well over a year ago, no one knew how long it would last or the long-term effects that prolonged working from home would have on employees everywhere. Things like decreased productivity and employee retention increased absenteeism, and declining mental health are problems that leadership couldn’t have predicted. As such, companies are shifting their key benefits for employees, what remains to be seen is if it is for the better or worse.
The Harvard Business Review outlined the full spread of changes that companies have made over the past year including increased Care benefits and making further moves to decentralize their workforce as a retention strategy. Check out the full article to learn more about the benefits changes that companies are making as the pandemic continues.