January was National Mentoring Month, and this year Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga celebrated by recruiting 20 new volunteers and 28 volunteers that are still being processed. For every adult volunteer that becomes a mentor in January, a commemorative sign was placed in the Big Brothers Big Sisters front yard celebrating one less child waiting to be matched to a Big Brother or a Big Sister. The effort was so successful; signs will continue to be placed in the yard until 50 new volunteers are recruited and fewer children are waiting for their mentor, officials said.
Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools they need to make responsible choices. Children who meet with their mentor regularly for a year are:
- 46% less likely to start using illegal drugs;
- 33% less likely to engage in violent behavior; and
- 78% less likely to skip a day of school.
The same research shows that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor.
"Today, there are 129 children in the Greater Chattanooga area who are waiting to be matched to a Big Brother or Big Sister.
"This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging the public to go beyond just digital engagement and become involved in real life. Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made between a caring adult and a young person who knows that someone is there to not only help guide them through those real-life decisions, but to have fun and explore new things.," officials said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is the largest and oldest mentoring organization in the country. Locally, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga serves children ages 6-18 in Hamilton, Bradley, Marion Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties. The mission of BBBS is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Chattanooga has been sustainable for 61 years and has served over 21,500 youth in the community.
For further information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, contact Ansley Kellermann at email@example.com, visit bbbschatt.org or call 423-698-8016.