Volunteer Mentors Needed, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region

Posted by Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region on November 24, 2020

Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. And the best part is, it’s actually a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do. Play sports together. Go on a hike. Read books. Or just give some advice and inspiration. Whatever it is you enjoy, odds are you’ll enjoy them even more with your Little-and you’ll be making a life-changing impact.

Community-Based Volunteer Mentors

Volunteers in our community-based mentoring program are 21 and older, and meet with their Littles two – four times a month, for a few hours each visit. We ask volunteers to commit to at least 12 months. To become a volunteer in our community-based program, visit http://www.independencebigs.org and click “Be a Big.” Potential volunteers will then be interviewed, complete background check forms and provide references to ensure their safety and the safety of the children we serve. After your interview is completed and forms are turned in, a Big Brothers Big Sisters Enrollment and Match Specialist will contact you about moving forward in the program.

College Mentors

We also offer a College Bigs mentoring program, in which college students are matched with elementary and middle school students and spend time together at the Little’s school during lunchtime or after school. Our current university partners are: La Salle University, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences, and Ursinus College. To learn more about this program, contact Steph Gilmour at sgilmour@independencebigs.org or call 215-790-9200.

What is a mentor?
Mentoring is ideally a one-to-one, committed, non-judgmental and positive relationship provided by a prepared individual who offers guidance to enhance a child’s self-esteem, knowledge, skills, values and ethics.

A Successful Mentor

  • Makes a personal commitment to spend time with their mentee at least two to four times a month for a year.
  • Is persistent, consistent and patient.
  • Has respect for individuals, his/her abilities and his/her right to make their own choices in life.
  • Has the ability to listen and accept different points of view.
  • Has the ability to empathize with another person’s struggles.
  • Has the ability to see solutions and opportunities as well as barriers.
  • Is flexible and open.

A Mentor Is Not

  • A parent or legal guardian
  • A disciplinarian
  • A social worker
  • A psychologist, counselor or therapist

It is more appropriate for a mentor to act as a “resource broker” and show the child how to access the services and resources he/she needs.

What Mentors Do

  • Establish a positive, personal relationship with a child.
  • Help a child to develop life skills.
  • Assist a child in obtaining additional resources.
  • Increase a child’s ability to interact with people/groups from various socio-economic, cultural and racial backgrounds.

Together, We Can Achieve These Goals Through Mentoring

  • Increase self-esteem
  • Enhance communication skills
  • Increase social interaction skills
  • Improve school attendance

To learn more and apply, visit https://www.independencebigs.org/be-a-big/

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