When we think about mentoring, we often think about what the outcomes are for the children. We can share a multitude of data about the ways in which the children we serve benefit from being matched in our programs. We know that having a mentor can increase self- esteem, school performance, establish better social skills and decrease risk behaviors. We also know that our Littles are not the only ones benefitting from the program. Here are our top five benefits of being a Big!
- It is a meaningful connection! Through consistent one on one time with their Littles, our Bigs can create a genuine connection. They will come to know each other’s likes and dislikes, laugh and experience a variety of activities together. A Big/ Little relationship at its very core is a mutually beneficial friendship that both parties give to and take away from.
- A new perspective. While matches are made based on some key elements of similarity, often our Bigs and Littles come from differing demographical backgrounds. Bigs can see the world through the eyes of a child who is potentially growing up very differently than they did. Bigs and Littles alike have the chance to learn about and engage in different cultures, traditions, and other experiences. Bigs can better understand the challenges their Littles are facing and become a better ally in helping them to navigate them.
- A greater sense of purpose. Bigs are relied upon to be a listening ear, a trusted friend, and a voice of guidance. It is an immense responsibility to be all those things for a child, achieving this gives one a sense of self-worth. When we give of ourselves to others, we can feel connected to something greater than ourselves and feel good about the impact we are making.
- Giving back to the community. Mentors are often called upon to fill some of the gaps in a young person’s life. Our Littles are identified as children in need of some extra support which can mean so many things. The Bigs provide that support by recognizing potential and helping their Littles to realize it. Our Bigs know that their Littles are special and wonderful all on their own and help them to know that about themselves, too. Our program can be life changing and our Bigs get a wonderful sense of pride from being involved.
- It is fun! Our matches spend time going to the park, playing games, attending sporting events, learning about STEM and doing all kinds of other activities. Fun is the most important part of any match. Match activities are decided on by the Big and Little and the Match Support Specialist is always available with suggestions.
Are you ready to become a Big? Learn more at www.bbbscm.org/become-a-big.
Read our full Guide to Becoming a Big and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest here.