By Maggie Ives
Special to The SUN
Big Brothers Big Sisters proves that mentoring works.
Over the past year, we have had many successes in the program and I would like to share some of them with you. I have changed the names of the participants in the program to maintain confidentiality.
This week, we are celebrating a one-year anniversary between Michelle and Sarah and Jake. Over the past year, Sarah and Jake have taught little Michelle how to ride a bike and how to ski. She also went on her first raft trip with BBBS and she loved it. In fact, it was the only sponsored outing that she asked to repeat. Thank you Sarah and Jake for showing Michelle how to do so many things — and what Pagosa Country has to offer.
I made a match at the beginning of April between Mike and Joshua. Joshua was having trouble at home and at school. In the first week of the match, Mom reported that Joshua was a different kid. He was not fighting with his little brother and was respectful and helpful at home. He has settled down in school as well. If this is the result after just one week, imagine what years will produce.
Emily and Barbara have been matched for 4 1/2 years and, this year, Barbara, who is on the ski racing team, placed first in Colorado in her age group, then traveled to Aspen to compete in Nationals and placed third in the nation. This makes her potentially eligible for the Junior Olympics in 2016. One week after she accomplished this, she graduated from confirmation class. This was a two-year commitment that she and her big sister shared and completed together. Congratulations Barbara for all that you have achieved.
All of the big brothers and big sisters in the program are amazing, and each and every one of them shares time with their littles to help positively impact their lives. On behalf of all of the littles in the program, I thank all the wonderful bigs that truly make a difference in your community. You are greatly appreciated.
We all have something to offer a child, even if we do not realize it. And the rewards of volunteering with a child are endless: it helps reawaken your inner child; you get to share your life’s experiences; it will help you feel younger and it warms your heart to know that you made a difference in the life of a child.
If you are interested in reaping the rewards of sharing yourself and your experiences with a young adult and becoming a big sister or a big brother, contact Maggie Ives at 398-0007 or Maggie@bbig.org.