Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Big Brothers Big Sisters Thanks Mentors

Mentoring guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County, our vision is for all children to achieve success in life. We are an organization that positively impacts children’s lives. Through our mentoring programs, we are able to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. By partnering with parents, guardians, volunteers, and others in the community we are accountable for each child in our program achieving higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, avoidance of risky behaviors, and educational success.

Every year, during the month of January, we thank our mentors who volunteer their time throughout the year and recognize them during National Mentoring Month. Without volunteers like our Big Sister Kristen, our program would not be the success that it is today. According to Kristen, “I started the Big Brother's Big Sister's program because I was looking for a way that I could help out the community that I lived in, while also helping a child experience new things.” Being the youngest sibling in her family, Kristen wanted the chance to be able to help a "Little Sister" with advice like her older sisters were able to give her.

On June 18, 2008, Kristen was matched with Little Sister Chelsea, and they were both excited that they had a lot of the same interests. Kristen says she enjoyed spending time and creating memories with Chelsea, and also enjoyed the fact she was able to give Chelsea experiences that she may not have had a chance to have without the program. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters events, they were able to do different kinds of free activities together as well as make crafts and bake cookies. “I enjoyed my overall experience with the program, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to have a mentor role in a child's life”, says Kristen.

Chelsea was 11 years old when she was matched with Kristen, and as she grew older and became an adult, their match within our program came to an end on September 12, 2017. Chelsea says the program itself was an amazing experience, and her match with Kristen was perfect. According to Chelsea, “I made a new friend and have good memories. I'm really glad I signed up because I have had plenty of good times and they were well spent.” Chelsea feels that every event they went to together was outstanding and very fun, and she really enjoyed baking and doing crafts with Kristen. Chelsea says that Big Brothers Big Sisters is “a great program that should continue in order to give other children a chance”. She also stated that her mom recently signed her little sister up for our program, and she hopes her own sister will have a good experience just like she did.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with caring mentors who help provide individual guidance and support. That is what we do. If you, or someone you know, are interested in becoming a Big or Little, please call 937-492-7611, 937-547-9622, or go to www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org for more information.

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