Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks celebrates national youth mentoring month

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Mentoring, at its core, guarantees a young person that there is someone who cares about them.

“It’s really a consistent relationship that you have in your life,” said CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks Ashley French.

French says that a relationship can have a positive effect on a child in a variety of situations.

“Someone who can tell them hey here’s a different path to go,” said French. “You don’t have to repeat some of these behaviors that you see every day in your family.”

At-risk-youth who have a mentor are 55-percent more likely to enroll in college.

“It can really change a kid’s perspective on life on what paths they choose,” said French.

Yet, one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.

“We always struggle finding male mentors,” said French. “At any given time we’re going to have 30 to 65 boys sit on our waitlist..”

Match Specialist, Melissa Potts works very closely with the littles.

“For whatever reason, men are just more reluctant to sign up,” said Potts. “But, what they don’t realize is that they have the opportunity to really impact a young man and show him you know, what life can be…”

Potts says it starts with just showing up.

“It’s like they become a part of your family,” said Potts. “That’s how a lot of my bigs characterize it, he’s like my true little brother.”

Potts says youth who are mentored show improved behavior, both at home and school.

For more information on becoming a mentor, click here.

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