Guest Post by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas (@BBBSNWA)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas made its first match in 1995. Nearly 25 years later, we are still matching kids in one-to-one relationships with caring, vetted adults. We know that our programs are effective. Children in our youth-mentoring program are 52% less likely to skip school and 86% of kids matched with a mentor have improved self confidence.
Right now, we have an urgent need for volunteers in our community. You can volunteer as a Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple or even a Big Family. All it takes is about four hours a month with a commitment of at least one year. We match our kids with Bigs based on where they live and what they like to do for fun. If you love fast cars, or building robots, watching the latest Disney movie or crafting necklaces, we have a Little who loves the same things.
Big Brother Ketan was recently matched with his Little Brother Ryan. Ryan waited over a year to be matched. He has a neuromuscular disorder which leads to low muscle tone, and it took some time to be able to find the right match. At their match introduction, they immediately bonded over love of Marvel movies and their strong passion for learning. One of their goals for the year is for them to learn Spanish together. Ryan's dream is to be a mechanic and, on their first outing, Ketan reported that Ryan asked to look under the hood of his car. Ketan does not have the same interest in cars but absolutely believes in fostering Ryan's quest for curiosity and learning. So, when Ketan heard about Tinkerfest at Amazeum where a car was to be dismantled, he immediately reached out to Ryan's mom to plan to take him. Ketan said Ryan had the time of his life and was able to take apart a carburetor.
There are dozens more children just like Ryan who want a mentor in their life. If you are ready to become a defender of potential—simply fill out an application on our website at www.bbbsnwa.org or attend an upcoming volunteer orientation.
The upcoming orientations are:
· Thursday, Nov. 7, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Panther Health and Wellness Clinic in Siloam Springs
· Sunday, Nov. 10, 2 to 4 p.m. at our Fayetteville Office - 91 W. Colt Square Dr. Suite 3, Fayetteville
· Thursday, Nov. 21, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Roger's Public Library
· Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 to 11 a.m. at our Fayetteville Office - 91 W. Colt Square Dr., Suite 3, Fayetteville
· Wednesday, Dec. 11, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bentonville Public Library