Building community to end child poverty | Stories | UNB is Here | UNB

Building community to end child poverty

Melissa Bewick (MBA'11) is breaking the cycle of child poverty in Saint John. Her non-profit organization, Bee Me Kidz, directly addresses the impact of poverty-related stressors on a child’s ability to learn.

Melissa’s work helps kids learn important social and emotional skills that enable them to succeed in school and in life. Parents say that participating in Bee Me Kidz has helped their kids improve their self esteem, have better mental health, and feel more hopeful about the future. Kids feel supported, empowered, and like they belong – key elements to their future success.

It’s not just the kids that benefit from the program; Melissa’s holistic approach also engages parents and schools in her teachings, building stronger communities that support a better future for everyone.

Unique perspective leads to innovative program

Melissa used the business acumen she developed at UNB to develop a program that was unlike any other. She and her co-founders (including fellow UNB alumnus Bryan Elliott) researched and analyzed existing programs to find gaps in service, and structured Bee Me Kidz to meet the complex needs of their community. Melissa measures the impact of their programming to ensure they are setting kids up to be as successful as they can be, and their funding model allows the kids who need the program the most to participate for free.

A meaningful change that lasts

UNB proudly supports its students at every stage of their career. You can count on UNB to support your initiatives, even as alumni. Melissa partnered with UNB’s Institute for Research, Data, and Training to evaluate how her program has influenced her community. Over 1000 kids – and their families, schools, and communities – have developed skills and relationships that are critical to overcoming the barriers of child poverty. Thanks to Melissa, kids in Saint John are on their way to realizing their full potential.


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