By Sarah Ames, Enrollment Team Leader
Mentoring is vital. Hopefully all of us have had at least one person in our life who has helped us decide where to go, who we want to be and served as a listening ear when we needed it. Whether your mentor supported you for a short period of your life, for several years, or is someone who has continued to be there for you throughout your lifetime, they have helped you through situations and bettered your outlook on life in some way. Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring is set up to help children that need a friend, a listening ear and someone who will put their best foot forward and care about their futures.
January is committed to celebrating those who have helped develop us into the people we are today and those who are still mentoring us. And why would there not be a month to celebrate mentors who help kids reach higher than they have before, help them be more confident and to think more positively? After all, children are our futures and we want their future to be bright. So keep these January dates in mind and help us celebrate those who mentor, encourage, and support us!
- January 4, 2018: I am a Mentor Day– A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world.
- January 11, 2018: National Mentoring Month Kick-off Twitter Chat (3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT)– Join us on a Twitter Chat to discuss all things National Mentoring Month and how mentoring is impacting local communities with partners America’s Promise Alliance, Athletes For Hope, Center for Promise, and Communities in School. Participate using hashtags #PromiseChat and #MentorIRL.
- January 15, 2018: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service-A day to share in the inspirational words of Dr. MLK, Jr. and elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism.
- January 17, 2018: International Mentoring Day– A day of international conversations on social media where photos, video and powerful mentoring stories are shared. Celebrating the mentors that have moved to the United States and became a mentor to support and encourage our young.
- January 25, 2018: #ThankYourMentor Day– A day for all who have real-life mentoring experiences to thank those who helped them on their path to adulthood and beyond.
Still unsure about whether you should be a mentor or how beneficial mentoring is to kids? Big Brothers Big Sisters of America conducted a study to show the impact of our Community-based mentoring program has on the children that were involved. 950 children were studied to determine how beneficial 18 months of being involved in the program was versus those not involved is. The study found that not only were the Littles more confident about their performance on schoolwork and getting along with their families better, but 46% of those children were less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip a class, and 33% less likely to hit someone.
These statistics are astonishing. Imagine a world where children had to figure out what was right or wrong and how to get where they want in life, without having someone to help them on their way. Imagine having to figure life out on your own without the mentors you have had and how much more difficult growing up could have been. Without a mentor you may have not made it to where you are today. According to Mentoring.org 1 in 3 children are growing up without a mentor, so be a Big, be a mentor, be a life changer for someone and give your time to be a friend and a helping hand to a child in need.
As always, a “thank you” to our sponsors who have given to support our matches and our mission. Without them our Community-based and Site-based matches would not be sustainable, and we, at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas, would not be able to benefit the children we have and continue to benefit. If you would like to donate or become a Big or Little please inquire online at bbbsnwa.org. We would love for you to be involved benefitting the present and futures of the children in our community.