Blog Home > Archive (August, 2020)
Happy Anniversary to our local Big Brothers Big Sisters, marking 20 years in September! We are honored to be your partner in education, impacting over 4,500 kids in Southeast Missouri.
 
United Way of Southeast Missouri invests in two programs at BBBS. The mentoring program pairs caring adults with youth, and ABCToday encourages Attendance, Behavior and Coursework for all students in Cape Girardeau Public Schools. Both programs have been essential to youth in our community, especially when school has not been in session.

Kim and Judy--7 Years Later!

Kim and Judy (not their real names) have been matched since September 2013. They have met consistently from the very beginning, and Kim has watched Judy grow up. They are like family. In fact, Judy was in Kim’s wedding, because Kim could not imagine getting married without Judy being part of her special day. 

Kim is a teacher, so she already mentors lots of kids, but she chooses to be a mentor to Judy. Judy's mother explains, “Judy and Kim have both said that they can’t imagine not being matched and know that the friendship will continue even after the match is over.”

Kim and Judy get together and do simple things like go out to eat and get their nails done. They also do big things like go to the Kane Brown concert. Kim and Judy have a scrapbook they have kept since the beginning of the match. On their five-year anniversary, BBBS staff had the opportunity to celebrate with them and look through the scrapbook, remembering all the fun things they had done. 
 
Kim knows part of being a Big, as well as a teacher, is always encouraging Judy to do her best. There was a time when Judy was in sports and wanted to quit because it was hard. Kim and Judy talked about not giving up, and Judy didn’t; she was happy that she stuck with it. Since Kim is a teacher, she is also always reminding Judy that school is important, grades are important, and her choices past high school are important. Kim brought Judy to the BBBS High School Meet and Greet as a way of encouraging her to start thinking about her future. 
 
Being a Big Sister or Big Brother is not hard. It simply takes caring enough about a child to make a monthly commitment to see her or him for one year. If you're like Judy and Kim, you will find a friend you want to grow with for a long time and develop an equally amazing match and friendship.   

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Due to health issues, Maya has struggled with educational success, which disrupts her attendance at school. Attendance affects performance and, not surprisingly, Maya's counselors reported she also lacked motivation to attend and do her best.
 
ABCToday, a program of BBBS that UWSEMO supports, measures Attendance, Behavior, and Coursework for all students in the Cape Girardeau Public Schools. ABCToday staff worked with Maya's school to design a support plan with the school and family to help Maya succeed.

ABCToday supports students in Cape Girardeau Public Schools.

ABCToday staff met regularly with Maya, providing help, encouragement, and motivation to turn in schoolwork. They also developed ways she could stay organized when unable to attend school. At the end of the school year, Maya was passing all her classes, and her attendance had improved by more than 50%!
 
Maya also has an older brother in high school. After seeing the support the ABCToday staff were able to give Maya, her mother asked that staff also work with her brother. ABCToday staff engaged the student and his counselor in developing a plan for her brother's success as well.  
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