Celebrate national mentoring month with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Published 10:00 pm Friday, January 13, 2017

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) marks the 15th annual national mentoring month in January with a call to action to mentor and help youth grow into well-rounded citizens and build important life skills.

Commitments can be as minimal as twice per month in the community program and one hour per week in the school program.

Mentoring relationships are basic human connections affirming a young person’s sense of worth. In a recent national report, ‘The Mentoring Effect,’ young people who were at risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. They were also 81 percent more likely to report participating in sports or extracurricular activities, 78 percent  more likely to volunteer in their communities, and more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.   

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Big Brothers Big Sisters holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships.

Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, businesses and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (littles) with screened volunteer mentors (bigs) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better. This mission has been the cornerstone of the national organization’s 100-year history.

The local BBBS of western North Carolina agency includes 10 counties in western North Carolina and served 1,592 youth in the last fiscal year. The agency provided 636 youth with one-on-one mentoring relationships, including those in the Polk/Landrum service area, and the BBBS Project MARS/AmeriCorps provided academic and supportive resources to an additional 956 students in fiscal year 2015 – 2016.

There are children on the waiting list for a BBBS mentor. To learn more about mentoring through the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, contact maryp@bbbswnc.org or call 828-899-9699 or 828-859-9230.

– article submitted by Mary Prioleau