Archived Story

Be a Big Brother

Published 9:56pm Wednesday, January 4, 2012

To the editor:

Who mentored you? For many adults, a positive role model in their lives when they were children helped them forge a future full of promise.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien and Cass, we want all children to have enough adults in their lives to care about them so they can form a value system that counts integrity and academic success as high priorities.
January is National Mentoring Month – an ideal time as the new year begins to encourage community members to consider becoming a mentor to a child who needs them.
Yes, it is a commitment of time, but one that can reap benefits far beyond what any of us can envision.
After the application process is completed and a match is made with a child between 6 and 12 years of age, the mentor volunteer or “Big” is coached in how to work toward three goals.
The first is to increase the child’s self-confidence; the second is to improve academic performance; and the third is to help the child begin to see what his/her future could look like.
The great “Aha!” for our Big Brothers and Big Sisters is that this is one of the most life-affirming and rewarding experiences that they have had as adults.
Volunteer mentors come in all shapes and sizes – as do the children in our care. We have volunteers who are the minimum age of 18 and we have volunteers who are in their 70s and 80s. Some are professionals, some are retirees, some are students. They all have one thing in common, however, and that is that they share with BBBS in the belief that “when you change the world of a child, you change the world.”
Consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister in 2012 — it will help brighten your new year in ways you never imagined possible!
For information, call (877) 367-2244 toll free or e-mail to

Kathryn S. Rossow
Executive Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien and Cass

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