Through small donations of volunteers’ time, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island has been making a difference in the lives of local youth since 1977. The Community and Site-based mentorship programs help children from all walks of life with everything, from educational achievements to social development.
The Benefits of Mentoring Youth through BBBSLI
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America reports that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, Littles were influenced in many different 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
1) Educational Achievement
Bigs often have a huge impact on the educational achievements of the Littles that they mentor. Mentoring youth can even change the whole course of their school experience.
BBBSLI’s 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, mentoring youth through BBBSLI promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Many of the mentees also develop better communication skills, because they have the opportunity to participate in more social situations.
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.
3) Building Career Foundations
For many Long Island youth who are facing adversity, building a successful career may seem like an impossibility. Mentoring youth prepares mentees for life after high school by improving workplace skills, such as:
- Helping to set career goals
- Introducing 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
- Enhancing job skills, like finding, interviewing and retaining a job.
BBBSLI’s volunteer mentoring program has changed the lives of countless young people in the area. By donating just a few hours each month, you too could play a major role in defending the potential of local youth.