Local organization looking for college student mentors

By Nandi Sommers '21, staff writer

Since the COVID-19  pandemic, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester said it is looking for new volunteering mentors for local youth in the area.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester is based in Monroe, Wayne, Yates, and Ontario Counties. The goal of the organization is to connect children to a mentor.

“Mentoring relationships are beneficial for children not only because it gives them one on one connection, but it is also your opportunity to teach children topics regarding life skills and life lessons,” CEO Lisa Mattoon said. The organization emphasizes on its website that having a trusted mentoring adult relationship is highly beneficial to children because it teaches them confidence, trust and helps avoid them getting into risky behavior. Mattoon said it also gives the children a sense of social acceptance.

“A lot of our volunteers say that they didn’t expect much at first with the program, but later said the program itself has been life changing experience for them,” Mattoon said.

The children within the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester are referred to ‘littles’. When it comes to signing up for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester those interested can sign up on their website and go through a screening in order to make the littles and their families more comfortable. 

“It’s a good way to give back to the community and be a positive role model,” Mattoon said.

There are four program options available when it comes to community volunteering:

  • Bigs in Blue
  • Beyond school walls volunteering
  • Mentoru
  • High School Bigs volunteering

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester currently has 400 children in need of mentors. The recent pandemic has made it harder for children to have real life connections and relationships, this program helps show children that they are never alone in their struggles and that they have someone in their corner supporting and rooting for them.

According to its website, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester said it is currently in need of more ethnically diverse mentors. The organization said a lot of littles in the program comes from different ethnic backgrounds and being able to connect with someone they can also relate to ethically can help bring a sense of comfort for some children.

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