Press release from Big Brothers Big Sisters:
ASHEVILLE — Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC marks National Mentoring Month in January with a message of gratitude for our nearly 700 mentors throughout WNC who commit to helping their Little Brothers and Little Sisters’ thrive. National Mentoring Month was established collaboratively by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service with the goal of energizing citizens to become mentors.
In honor or National Mentoring Month and the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the city of Asheville has issued a proclamation acknowledging the 35-year history Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC has providing over 18,000 children with mentoring relationships and also declaring January National Mentoring Month in the city of Asheville and encouraging “all citizens to thank their own mentors and to become a mentor for a young person.”
After successfully completing their historic 100 Mentors in 100 Days volunteer recruitment drive in December, BBBS will be celebrating their volunteers with a Mentor Appreciation Party, Jan. 25, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Anchor Kitchen and Bar in West Asheville. Officially held in conjunction with National Mentoring Month’s #ThankYourMentor Day, the event will include refreshments, door prizes and the announcement of the nominees for 2018 Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year. The event is open to the public and community members interested in learning more about becoming a Big are invited to attend.
“People often step into the new year fired up and ready to give back to their community,” says Executive Director Robin Myer, “and National Mentoring Month is all about raising awareness and steering that energy toward mentoring.”
“Mentors in our program are often transformed just as much as their mentees,” says Myer, “They describe their experiences as Bigs not in terms of ‘volunteering’ but in terms of ‘becoming family’ and ‘making friends,’ which shows just how invested these relationships become and the lasting positive impact they can make in our community.”
Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use. In turn, these young people are:
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college.
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
Big Brothers Big Sisters staff carefully match children who face adversity with caring mentors in long-term, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships. Even with the organization’s recent recruitment success, there are still 48 children in Buncombe County waiting to be matched with a mentor. Little Brothers, in particular, have long wait between signing up and being matched — an average of 10 months.
For more information, see bbbswnc.org.