Success isn’t something you achieve alone; in fact it’s the people in your life that directly and indirectly help guide you down a path to life success. That is exactly why the Big Brothers Big Sisters program was created — to provide at-risk youth ages of 6-18 from low-income, and single-parent households, a role model that provides positive guidance and mentorship. But the benefits aren’t just for the child: it affects both the mentor and mentee by forming a lasting bond that enriches both lives.
For instance, if you are a parent you know that the bond forged between you and your child helps them become more loving, kinder, and happier. These same results are also true for “Littles” in the program. The children of Big Brother Big Sisters lack a positive male or female influence in their lives, but once they’re matched with a mentor they are given an opportunity to find guidance and friendship.
In fact, a study from the 1990s discovered the true efficacy of Big Brothers Big Sisters. The study was conducted to see just how effective the program would be on minority and single-parent households that received food stamps. The results showed that children in the program were 46% less likely to start taking drugs, 32% less likely to commit an act of violence, and less likely to skip school.
Big Brother Big Sisters is a one-to-one mentorship program where an adult is paired with a child in order to establish and create a caring and supportive relationship between mentor and mentee. The Big (you) and your Little participate in social activities like going to movies together, attending sporting events, shopping, hiking, visiting museums, helping with homework, or just simply having a conversation. These activities are proven to give the Little better relationship building skills, improve their communication, and help them make positive decisions in their lives.
How Mentoring Affects You
The results of the Big Brother Big Sisters’ program has a proven positive impact on children, but you might be wondering how it will affect you as a mentor.
First of all, by mentoring you are given an opportunity to change someone’s life for the better. Not only that, but you’re also helping build a better society. When you give back to your community by helping a child who needs guidance, you are molding an impressionable mind so that your Little may become a more confident person. Kids in the BBBS’ program make better decisions by avoiding drugs, violence, and going to school regularly.
Another thing you will notice once you become a Big Brother or Big Sister is that your own life will change. Not only is your Little’s life enriched, but you yourself will become a better person. You get to see the positive impact you will have had on a child’s life; a Big and Little relationship gives you similar satisfaction to a parent helping their child gain the skills they need to grow into someone successful.
In the business world, giving more of your time and resources to your company creates a more sustainable and effective workforce. By investing your time into a child that’s in need of guidance, you are investing in the future by helping a child stay away from negative influences. You are also allowing them the tools to discover who they are as a person by helping them cultivate their interests.
The power of mentorship is bigger than just one person — it is a way that leads to a better future for a kid that needs a positive influence in their lives. I recommend it to any person that believes all children can be successful with the right guidance, and wants to have a role in helping the next generation succeed.