Empowering Youth as a Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor - SantaFe.com

What does empowerment look like? If your idea of empowerment is helping young people realize their potential and help them achieve their brightest possible futures, you may have what it takes to be a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor. To become a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, you don’t need any special skills or even a degree. All you need is the desire to become a role model who positively impacts the life of a young person, and the time to spend in one-to-one engagement.

Studies have shown that children who have positive role models are more likely to show improvement in school, as well as in their relationships with friends and family. By taking the step toward becoming a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, you could be instrumental in keeping your “Little” from skipping school, or becoming involved in negative or illegal activities, such as drug and alcohol use. In a sense, becoming a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor is a way of giving control back to those who need it most.

Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors seek to change the lives of children facing adversity for the better. As such, they operate in communities throughout the country, from urban to rural locations, in schools, on military bases, and beyond. Chances are pretty good that there is a Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate office near you.

What it Takes to Be a Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor

Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors come from all walks of life, provided they are over the age of 20, with the ability to commit to a minimum of four hours a month, over the span of at least one year. To become a volunteer in site-based mentoring programs, they must be at least 18. Other requirements may be a valid driver’s license and automobile insurance, depending on your location and ability to access meaningful activities and venues.

As a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, your role would be to create a meaningful one-to-one relationship with your Little, who may be between the age of five and 18. Activities can include anything from doing homework to sports activities. Mentors dedicate time, ideally two or three times a month, to do normal, everyday activities, like hanging out, going to movies, playing games, attending concerts, or even learning arts and crafts.

It all comes down to quality of time spent. In fact, “Bigs” are encouraged not to spend a lot of money on their Littles. The goal of the relationship is to present a different perspective — to show them how you go about your own successful life, to inspire them to become something they never thought possible. This, in turn, gives them access to activities they never considered before, and opens their minds to all possibilities.

Getting the Most Out of the Experience

So long as the activity instills a sense of confidence and positive motivation, the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor is on the right track. The ultimate goal of mentorship is to change the lives of children who might not ordinarily get the chance to experience life at its fullest.

Mentors are not expected to become surrogate parents or guardians, but rather to help enrich the everyday lives of children, who then share their experiences with their families. At the end of the day, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship is all about friendship, guidance, and inspiration.

This, more than anything, is what empowerment looks like. If you’d like to learn more, join the many Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors who are changing lives for the better. Visit the website for more information, then get ready for a life-changing experience unlike any other.

This article was posted by David Salcido

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