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Think Big, Boys & Girls Clubs partnership brings teen workforce development to Pinellas

Margie Manning

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Tony DiBenedetto at a celebration for Think Big for Kids.

Two nonprofit organizations have partnered on a program to help teens prepare for the workforce.

Think Big for Kids, founded in 2016 by Tampa tech executive and entrepreneur Tony DiBenedetto, will offer workforce development programs for teens at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast locations in Pinellas County. The programs will include career showcases, skill-building workshops, mentoring programs, internships, scholarships and more.

Think Big for Kids initially partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, which serves Hillsborough County and that partnership continues as well.

“Think Big for Kids has experienced tremendous growth in Tampa since we launched four years ago, but our goal since the beginning has been to reach as many teens in need as we can in our community, so it’s a natural move for us to expand into Pinellas County,” DiBenedetto said in a news release. “We are excited to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of Suncoast, where we know there is not only high demand for our teen programming but an exciting workforce with great opportunities that await these kids after graduation.”

DiBenedetto has frequently told the story of how he grew up in poverty and succeeded thanks to mentors who helped him in his educational pursuits. He co-founded Tribridge, a Tampa software and cloud services company, and was CEO when Tribridge sold to DXC Technology Co. in July 2017 for $152 million.

He founded Think Big for Kids to help underprivileged youth discover their untapped potential through career exploration, mentorship and job readiness skills development. The nonprofit partners with other organizations representing diverse industries with a common mission to reduce systemic poverty and prepare kids to excel in high-demand professions of today’s workforce.

Think Big for Kids has a goal of helping 2,000 underprivileged teens served become workforce-ready by 2022.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast is proud to partner with Think Big for Kids. We look forward to what our partnership will be able to offer Pinellas County teens, including career planning and development resources, pathways available through higher education and job exploration. It has been our Clubs’ priority to ensure all kids that walk into our doors graduate on time with a plan for their future. With Think Big for Kids working hand and hand with our Clubs, we know the future looks bright for our young people,” said Freddy Williams, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast serves nearly 14,000 youth across Pinellas County.

 

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