Press release from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina:
January is National Mentoring Month, and Big Brothers Big Sisters is pushing hard to enlist more Big Brothers and Big Sisters. More than 700 mentors are currently serving Little Brothers and Little Sisters in Western North Carolina, but more are needed – especially men.
Mentoring works. Studies indicate that during the 2018-19 school year, 94 percent of Littles improved their self-confidence, 87 percent improved their problem solving, 87 became more motivated to learn and 85 percent behaved better in school.
Every January, the news is full of the same stories: people are trying to eat more healthfully, hit the gym more often. This year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina is changing that story and asking: What if this year, you could resolve to something more important, more impactful? What if you could make a resolution worth keeping, one that inspires more resolutions?
In 2020, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina is asking people in the region to resolve to become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
“Bettering yourself in the new year is a great goal,” said Robin Myer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina executive director, “but we know people are also thinking about how to better their community and how to make sure that when they reflect on the year, they know they made a difference.”
Several dozens of children are waiting to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister in WNC, and the only way to ensure they have someone to inspire them to reach their potential is for more adults to step up and volunteer to become Bigs. Being a Big means committing to spending a few hours a month with a young person doing things that you love to do, like playing basketball, visiting the library, or learning how to cook.
Community residents can get involved during (and after) National Mentoring Month by visiting bbbswnc.org and looking for the county in which they want to volunteer.
Want to know more? Listen to these BBBS staff members and former Bigs and Littles about how the experience can change lives.
“I am so proud to see what a wonderful young woman my Little has become. She blossomed from a shy, retiring child to take on leadership roles and responsibilities that I could not have imagined her feeling comfortable with.” – Monica Jones, a Big in Polk County
“Mentoring has positive effects on our youth and on the community as a whole. It increases self-esteem and enhances academic success. It improves workforce readiness and opens up new opportunities and career paths for our youth. The need for mentoring has never been greater than it is right now” – Gloria Dockery, BBBS program coordinator in Cherokee County
“These unique friendships provide expanded opportunities and create long-term trusting relationships that are powerful motivators for youth. Mentoring instills hope and confidence and inspires children to strive towards a higher potential.” – Karen Dacey, BBBS program coordinator in Polk County
“My match with Patty changed my life forever. I first met her when I was in first grade. Before I met Patty I had never been introduced to the type of life she lived. Living in poverty I just wasn’t exposed to things like that. It made me realize that my life would be what I made it. She helped me overcome many obstacles in the 11 years that we were matched, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world..” – former Little Sister Mary Boone
“Most of the children we serve lack a person in their lives that is ‘their’ person 100 percent of the time. Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. You get the privilege of guiding that child toward understanding and reaching their potential. A mentor provides opportunities for new experiences like watching a sports game or riding bikes through the park or baking cookies. Having a mentor means having someone to listen to you, laugh with you, ask questions to, and be a friend to you.” – Morgan Harris, BBBS program coordinator in Henderson County