BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Each January, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon celebrates National Mentoring Month: a time to celebrate those who mentored us when we needed guidance, to remember the impact a caring adult can have on the future of a young person, and to ask our community to help ignite the potential of a child.
This year brings challenges none of us have faced before, we all know them well at this point and anxiously await a time when COVID no longer impacts us daily. People are ‘hunkered down’ to wait it out, but kids in our community need mentors now more than ever.
The virus’s assault on a sense of normalcy creates a crisis for young people: they struggle with online school while their parents do their best to keep the household together, managing any existing challenges which have been magnified.
Bigs in our program, as mentors, provide support to help children thrive during this strange time. Whether it be virtual homework help, sharing outdoor winter activities, making cookies or playing guitar together via FaceTime, having a caring adult in their corner helps keep kids engaged.
A mentor has the ability to turn life around for one child and to help turn 2021 into a year of hope and anticipation! When a child has a meaningful mentoring relationship, their life is changed for the better, forever. Youth with mentors in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon tell us they have experienced the following improvements:
· School attendance improves by 93%
· Parental trust increases by 85%
· Academic performance improves by 86%
· Risky behaviors decrease by 96%
· Social competencies improve by 88%
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon is looking for volunteer mentors in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties. In celebration of Mentoring Month, BBBSCO is hosting informational meetings on how to become involved, links to the virtual meetings are on their homepage at bbbsco.org. Mentoring Month 2021 dates to know:
I Am a Mentor Day - A day for volunteer mentors to celebrate their role and reflect on the ways mentees have enhanced their world. : January 7
Mugs & Mentors - BBBSCO Informational Meeting: January 12th @ 8:30AM
International Mentoring Day - Join the international conversation on social media using hashtags #MentoringDay & #MentoringMonth: January 17
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service - A day to elevate the spirit of service through volunteerism: January 18
Lunch & Learn – BBBSCO Informational Meeting: January 20th @ 12:00PM
Bigs & Brews – BBBSCO Informational Meeting: January 28th @ 5:30PM
Thank Your Mentor Day - Share your gratitude with the mentors in your life: January 29
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon is a program of J Bar J Youth Services, an organization helping youth overcome obstacles on their path to self-sufficiency in Central Oregon. For more information, visit bbbsco.org, or call 541-312-6047.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon is a "21 Cares for Kids" partner.