Mentoring month is now

This January, as part of National Mentoring Month, Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates those who invest in a child through the gift of mentoring.

“We hold ourselves accountable for the proven youth outcomes that are unique to Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs, including academic achievement; avoidance of risky and delinquent behaviors; and higher self-esteem and aspirations,” said Jackie Scholl Johnson, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota.  “Our committed board, leaders, and program, research and mentoring support staff work with parents, volunteer mentors, donors and partners from the diverse communities we serve to give children who face adversity every opportunity to succeed.  National mentoring month is a time to pay tribute to the Big Brothers Big Sisters village and to encourage others to Start Something to extend our reach.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates will celebrate National Mentoring Month by honoring their supporters — volunteers, donors, parents and staff members who work together to provide careful mentor matching and support services for children who face adversity.  Youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are primarily children of single, low-income or incarcerated parents, or they are in military families or are coping with other challenges.

Big Brothers Big Sisters programs are based on a data-proven model focused on creating and sustaining strong and long mentoring matches.  Long-standing research by Public Private Ventures, a national nonprofit research and program development organization, found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in the program, are:
•46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs
•27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol
•52 percent less likely to skip school
•37 percent less likely to skip a class
•33 percent less likely to hit someone

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota was established in 1969 and helps youth to realize their full potential by providing positive growth experiences through one-to-one mentoring relationships. To learn how you can be the difference in the life of a child, as a mentor, volunteer or donor, please call 320-253-1616 or visit www.bbbscentralmn.org.

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