Mentoring youth can work

January 7, 2014 

January is National Mentoring Month. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois recognizes the 644 individuals who served as role models and mentors to youth in St. Clair, Madison, Monroe and Clinton counties in the past year. The Little Brothers and Little Sisters they worked with look up to them as their heroes and local celebrities. In addition to our Big Brothers and Big Sisters volunteers, during January we celebrate all those who share time and talents with the agency -- members of the board of directors, committee members and individuals who participate in fundraising events. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs youth, or Littles, with screened volunteer mentors, or Bigs, and monitors these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout its life. The first Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth in areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity -- often of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military -- with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Barbara Cempura

President and CEO

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois

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