Today, we met with Robin Myer (Executive Director) at the Big Brothers Big Sisters offices in Asheville.
BBBS matches adult mentors with kids who need a caring role model in their lives. It is a process based on personality, hobbies, and experiences.
I really like this one-on-one model. BBBS' goal is for the mentor and child to form long-term relationships - establishing a positive role model for every boy and girl in the program.
BBBS reports that kids with mentor-friendships have improved self-confidence, healthier relationships with adults and peers, and better attitudes toward school.
If you are 16 or older, you may want to consider volunteering with BBBS.
If you don't live in Western North Carolina (or if you do), a great way to support Big Brothers Big Sister in Asheville is to buy a raffle ticket. For $100, you can buy a ticket for a chance to win a fully-furnished, 2000sqf cabin on a beautiful piece of property near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
Have you ever mentored someone or been mentored? What was your experience like?
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For me the mentoring experience was much like parenting has proven to be - mostly exciting, sometimes frustrating and always rewarding. I mentored a younger girl when I was in college. She was responsible for all of the household chores, for making sure her younger siblings were fed and made it to school and had been basically left on her own - her father wasn't around and her mother was addicted to gambling and alcohol. She and her siblings first visited our church by riding the Sunday School bus and as she continued to come and learned to trust us she became a part of our youth group and during one year the youth leaders paired us together instructing us older college-age kids that we were to take these younger ones and make them an important part of our life, mentor them, help them with their homework, talk to them on the phone through the week, do things with them and etc... it was a great experience.
Hey, have you guys considered teaming up with Sole Hope while you're in Asheville? Asher Collie (the founder) is a good friend of mine, and it's an amazing organization! Check out their website for contact info! solehope.com
Looking at Sole Hope right now. :)
Time is running short. We leave Asheville Monday. Tomorrow or Saturday may be possible.
Does Asher have an office/home office in Asheville?
I've been part of a mentoring program through my college for the past 4 years. I'll be graduating in a month but I'll always have my mentor who is an alumni of the college. We meet maybe 4x per year for dinner and just talk about life. I've been a single mom since my daughter was 5 months old (now 5 years old!) and she became a single mom a few years ago so our struggles are similar but very different at the same time.
Another mentoring aspect that my college is trying to get going is to have the parent college students (like me) mentor high school age women who have children or are pregnant. There are 10 of us in the single parent program and the college has partnered with a local high school to provide outings and meetings between the parents so we can help each other. Most of us college aged parents had our children in high school and have had to deal with the difficulties of responsibility and motherhood from a young age. Our experiences of going through everything but still making college top priority can definitely (I think anyways) benefit younger moms who might not think of the options they have for their futures.
"I’ll always have my mentor "
And that is why mentoring is so amazing. It has the potential to change you forever.
So glad you have that mentor friendship.
Thanks for visiting us! Each day I learn more and more about what it takes to be a mentor. I have respect for the families and how they are trying to provide resources for their children. The children, well, they are truly precious and need as much positive support as possible. Mentors - their time, efforts and skills may take years to really be recognized, but at the end of the day if they have given a child the opportunity to smile, play, motivation to do well . . . such gifts are truly priceless.
Thanks for showing us around and sharing about BBBS.
Keep up the good work!