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3 Ways Big Brothers and Big Sisters Help Local Youth Thrive

Through small donations of time, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island have been making a difference in the lives of local youth since 1977. The community and site-based mentorship program helps children from all walks of life with everything from educational achievement to social development.

How Big Brothers and Big Sisters Improve Long Island Youth’s Lives

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America reports that after 18 months of spending time with their ‘Bigs,’ Little Brothers and Little Sisters were influenced in countless ways.

The study found that ‘Littles’ were:

  • 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27 percent less likely to begin drinking alcohol
  • 52 percent less likely to skip school
  • 37 percent less likely to skip a class
  • 33 percent less likely to hit someone

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1)      Educational Achievement

‘Bigs’ often have a huge impact on the educational achievement of the ‘Littles’ who they mentor. They can even change the whole course of a young person’s school experience.

‘Littles’ typically have:

  • Fewer unexcused absences
  • A better overall attitude towards school
  • A greater chance of enrolling in higher education

 

2)      Social and Emotional Development

‘Bigs’ also play a major role in influencing the social and emotional development of their mentees.

Through sharing life experiences and offering advice, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island youth mentors promote positive social attitudes and relationships. Many of the mentees develop better communication skills, because they have the opportunity to participate in more social situations.

‘Littles’ regularly participate in sports or extracurricular activities at a higher rate than at-risk youth who do not have a mentor. As a result, the incidence of depression has become much lower among those youth with mentors in their lives.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters are also inspiring forces in the lives of ‘Littles.’ Through the actions and advice of ‘Bigs,’ young people often learn many important life lessons.

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3)      Building a Foundation for a Career

For many under-privileged Long Island youth, building a successful career may seem like an impossibility. Youth mentors prepare their mentees for life after high school by improving workplace skills:

  • Helping to set career goals.
  • Introduce young people to resources and organizations they may not be familiar with.
  • Using personal contacts to help young people network with industry professionals, find internships and locate possible jobs.
  • Enhance job skills, such as finding, interviewing and retaining a job.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island’s volunteer mentoring program has changed the lives of countless young people in the area. By donating just a little time each month, you too could play a major role in helping the next generation of Long Islanders grow strong.

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