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Mentoring Month

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast Celebrates National Mentoring Month

| Gina Taylor |

Longstanding studies show long-term, one-to-one, staff-supported volunteer mentoring works. As we mark National Mentoring Month this January, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast is honoring all who make up their successful community –parents, volunteers, staff, and donors who work together to make a mentoring match strong, enduring, and successful.

Behind every successful mentoring match is a team of selfless, dedicated believers. Of course, there is the volunteer who makes time in their schedule to commit to helping a child reach their full potential. There is the parent or guardian, most often a single mom or grandmother who courageously seeks support to give her child every opportunity to succeed.  Then there is the staff person, a professional who uses facts from interviews, references, experience, and intuition to match the right child and family with the right volunteer.  And behind every relationship are the donors, whose financial resources make it possible for our mentors, mentees, and parents to get the ongoing support, guidance, and resources that help them establish and maintain the kind of dialogue, communication, and understanding that are behind Big Brothers Big Sisters’ successful long-term one-to-one mentoring relationships.

This month, we honor our volunteers for being Defenders of Potential. We thank our parents and guardians for their trust and commitment to their children. We pay tribute to our staff, and we show gratitude to our donors.

“When I first volunteered to be a Big Brother, I did not know what to expect and I did not have any experience in this area.   It was over 5 years ago I met Lamar and one thing that stands out to me is the fact I volunteered to help a child in need, I never expected the positive impact it has had on my life. I feel so grateful every time Lamar’s Mom says that I am a blessing to them, well it works both ways.  I truly feel blessed and grateful to have them in my life, they have become family to me and I have enjoyed watching Lamar mature over the past 5 years. I have every intention for this to be a lifelong connection,” said Big Brother of the Year, John Barringer.

“John has changed my life in a lot of ways; he’s done so much for me that it’s hard to put into words. John is an actual Big Brother to me, not just, because that’s what he’s called because he’s my Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters, but because he IS my family and my real-life Big Brother. He has been there since I was 6 years old and has challenged me to accomplish my goals. I have never had a father figure, so having John in my life has made me happy. Because of John, I have someone to do boy stuff with, hang out with, and talk to about anything. John has changed my life for the better, and I can’t imagine my life without him in it,” said Little Brother Lamar.

You too, can change a life and inspire potential in our youth. For more information or to become a Big, please call 855-501-BIGS (2447).

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast

For over 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has been matching youth in meaningful, enduring, professionally supported mentoring relationships with adult volunteers who defend their potential and help them achieve their biggest possible futures. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ evidence-based approach is designed to create positive youth outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and improved relationships. This past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has served over 1,500 youth across a 10 county footprint. Learn how to get involved at the website.

Photo Caption: Big Brother of the Year John Barringer enjoys spending time with his Little Brother Lamar

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