Friday, December 11, 2015

High School Big Buddy Mentors Make Big Impact in the Lives of Local Children

Aliyah Taborn from Sidney daughter of Leigh Allspaw &
Big Buddy Mentor Shelby Baker from Sidney.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County is excited to announce that another great year of the Big Buddies program is up and running. This is the Sixteenth year the program has been in place. The Buddies program is an eight-month commitment where high school freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors agree to work with and mentor elementary aged children two times per month. During these meetings, the high school students, under the supervision of Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, work with one or two children on different educational and recreational activities. The program continues to promote social and educational enhancing activities, as well as fitness, nutrition, and personal safety.

The Buddies program this year is at a total of seven different sites in both counties for the 2015-2016 school year. These sessions are held at Ansonia, Woodland Heights and Versailles in Darke County, as well as Emerson, Longfellow, Northwood, and Whittier Elementary Schools in Shelby County.

High school mentoring programs have become a widespread component of many nationally affiliated Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies. Studies prove that children from who spend time with a positive role model are more likely to become healthy productive adults. The Big Buddies program has proven beneficial not only for the “Littles” but for the high school volunteers, as well.

The agency is pleased to announce that all after-school programs are up and running! This year we kicked off the programs with a total of 164 volunteers from Anna, Ansonia, Botkins, Christian Academy, Fairlawn, Franklin Monroe, Greenville, Jackson Center, Lehman, Mississinawa Valley, Russia, Sidney & Versailles.

The following high school volunteers for the fall of 2015 are: Ansonia High School: Amber Bergman, Megan Bergman, Ashton Bergman, Tawni Brewer, Megan Christman, Ryleigh Cloyd, John Fischer, Elizabeth Fullroth, Abigail Helmke, Trinity Henderson, A’Tyah Knowles, Cierra Longenecker, Katelyn McKenna, Katelynn Overholser, Libby Price, Trenton Rader, Maggi Shrock, Taylor Thwaits, Haley Wampler, Katelyn Warner, & Katie Werts. Franklin Monroe High School: Amy Besecker, Shelly Brumbaugh, Betsy Roberts, Elisabeth Williams, Carly Wray. Greenville High School: Michelle Fannin, Katelyn Avore, Heidi Brickler, Emily Fulton, Geanette Hennin, Alli Hill, Kourtney Kretschmar, Hayley Maher, Kyra Maloy, Justin McMiller, Cassie Rapier, Karsyn Shaffer, Maddie Shepard, Dylan Stepp, Jade Valdez, Taylor Ward, & Karli Wicker. Mississinawa Valley High School: Jennifer Terriquez. Versailles High School: Payton Berger, Zoey Berger, Olivia Bruening, Kayla Bruns, Sarah Cordonnier, Lauren Durham, Kristen Gower, Nicole Gower, Brittney Hiestand, Janelle Hoelscher, Kara Langenkamp, Kylie Lyons, Jessica Meyer, Natalie Parin, Danielle Poor, Katie Pothast, Rachel Shellhaas, Brooke Stuck, & Ashlee Voisard. Anna High School: Brooke Gephart, Brooke Haynes, Samantha Hentrich, Alisha Holtzapple, Blake Ike, Olivia Maurer, Chloe Spence, Ashtin Barnes, Hannah Eilerman, Sarah Gilchrist, Courtney Hollenbacher, Anastasia Kovalenko, Brittany Phillips, Sidney Sasko, Lydia Zimpfer, Alyssa Benavente, Audrey Barhorst, Tessa Beatty, Allysondra Bolin, Morgan Brunswick, Nathan Bulle, Nick Bulle, Elaina Crosson, Robert Ehemann, Krista Gehret, Rachel Gehret, Sarah Layman, Catie Millhouse, Grace Ontrop, & Leona Roe. Botkins High School: Elizabeth Will, Crystal Alstaetter, Michelle Alstaetter, Noah Burton, & Madison Wagner. Christian Academy High School: Charissa Divens, Ethan Pollard, & Alexis Boersma. Fairlawn: Clara Strunk & Rachel King. Jackson Center High School: Maelee Enochs, Emme Farley, Madison Yarkosky, Kasey Copeland, Abigail Nash, Jaclyn Schmiesing, & Courtney Gasson. Lehman Catholic High School: Eli Baker, Lauren Riley, Tessa Brown, Sarah Gibson, Caroline Heitmeyer, Alvarro Barrera, Samantha Edwards, Claudia Fatone, Sara Fuller, Elizabeth Gibson, Meaghan McDonald, Grace Olding, Natalie Schmidt, Ana Vazquez, Madison Heffelfinger, David Potts, & Jacquie Schemmel. Russia: Olivia Quinter, Cameo Wilson, Amanda Frazier, & Megan Frazier. Sidney High School: Connor Armstrong, Cole Cartwright, Talia Herron, Ian Humphrey, Tinara Johnson-Cox, Olivia Jones, Kyle Mann, Kristina Manocchi, Kayla Slife, Emily Sauers, Rachel Trudeau, Devin Williams, Kelsey Underwood, Alexis Younker, Emma Zerkle, Arielle Snider, Rheba Vonderhuevel, Taylor Williams, Janae Drees, Kaitlyn Graber, Allysia Kindell, Stephanie Macke, Skylar Parker, Josh Wagner, Shelby Baker, Mackenzie Bates, Allya Bolin, Bobbi Lowe, Logan Schultz, & Amanda Thomas. Please note that these are the current list of volunteers posted the date of this press release. The agency is currently still accepting additional volunteers at some of our sites.

In addition to our after-school program the agency has 83 community-based matches throughout Shelby and Darke County. These matches meet with each other twice a month for outings which are planned around the volunteers own schedule. The goal of the community-based program is to match a local child with an adult mentor, who can serve as a positive role model, and expose the child to enhancing and uplifting activities. Currently the agency has 21 children waiting for a Big Brother or Sister in the program, so now is the time to think about how you could put a little sparkle into the life of a child! If you are interested in becoming a mentor in our community-based program, please call 547-9622 or 492-7611 for more information.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County is a United Way member agency and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The Buddies program is partially funded by the Ruth and Emerson Booher Committee advised fund, Harry D. Stephens Memorial, Dr. Marlin Thompson Founder’s Fund, & The Versailles Foundation Fund for Versailles If you would like more information about how to become a volunteer, you may visit the agency web site at or call the Sidney office at (937)492-7611 or the Greenville office at (937)547-9622.

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