Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrates National Mentoring Month
Each January the nation celebrates National Mentoring Month. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri is the largest and most successful mentoring organization in the state of Missouri. This year there is much to celebrate.
Big Brothers Big Sisters opens its doors every day so that young people have the extra support they need and deserve to grow up healthy, happy and successful. According to President and CEO, Becky Hatter, “Children need adults to see them, know them and care about them. Parents want the best for their children, but sometimes they cannot do it alone. So in partnership with our amazing mentors, teachers and other community partners, we offer children a little more certainty, a little more direction and a whole lot more love, fun and support – the necessary ingredients to lifelong success.”
Today, the agency is serving 1,700 youth, DAILY in its historical program. In the last two years, the agency has seen its Little Brothers and Little Sisters earn millions of dollars in scholarships and successfully navigate the critical young adult years, 18-24. The agency leads the nation in serving young people through the post-secondary years.
Additionally, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ “Whole School” model has 15 unique school partnerships in the Eastern Missouri area with expansion plans slated for 2017. The partnership identifies youth in the greatest need of Big Brothers or Big Sisters and the agency, school and other partners work to recruit volunteers to serve as role models, mentors and advocates. The agency also collects critical, predictive data on all the students in the schools and convenes school-based networks of community partners to collectively improve each student’s performance, provide them and their families with the appropriate temporary assistance and build a school wide “mentoring culture” defined by love, support and celebration.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri has been a proud member of the United Way of Southeast Missouri for the last 17 years delivering a comprehensive mentoring model supporting children, teens and young adults ages 5 through 25. This model focuses on developing 1:1 mentoring relationships between youth (“Littles”) and screened and trained volunteers (“Bigs”); then tracks and improves Littles’ ABCs in school with the help of our nationally acclaimed early warning and response system, ABCToday. Finally, we work with each Little and their family to prepare and support them to and through their post-secondary years. This includes a scholarship opportunity exclusive only to our Little Brothers and Little Sisters.
The support of the United Way of Southeast Missouri has allowed the Southern Regional office in Cape Girardeau to accomplish the following results:
· Deliver comprehensive services to 369 young people across Cape Girardeau and Scott Counties in 2016
· 80% of Littles are on a track to graduate from high school on time
· 99% of Littles had no involvement in any criminal activity; 99% of Littles avoided teen pregnancy
Though there has been much accomplished locally, there is still much work to be done. Over 130 children are waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister in Cape Girardeau area alone. For more information on volunteering as a mentor, please contact the Big Brothers Big Sisters Southern Regional office at (573) 339-0184 or visit the website at www.bbbsemo.org for more information.
National Mentoring Month Planned Celebrations:
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
National Mentoring Month Celebration
Cocktail Party – Invitation Only
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Recognizing the following:
Big Brother of the Year - Darian Jenkins
Big Sister of the Year - Susan Klippel
Big Family of the Year - Tim & Julie Schloss and Family
Parent of the Year - Dorothy Collins
Corporate Partner of the Year – Edward Jones
Community Partner of the Year – Southeast Missouri State University
Board Member of the Year – Bill DeWitt, II