By CHRISTINE CABANILLAS
Big Brothers Big Sisters
As we reflect on years past and ponder the changes we would like to make going forward, think about the impact you can have by mentoring to a child in Jack County through Big Brothers Big Sisters this year.
Big Brothers Big Sisters aims to help children reach their potential through professionally supported one-on-one mentoring. The volunteer organization exposes youth to possibilities and interests that many never would have thought possible. The wisdom and experience that a mentor can share encourages youth to see beyond their current circumstances and to develop the skills needed to pursue higher education, career goals and successful relationships.
With more than 1,000 area children in Jack County now is the time to step up to the plate and become a volunteer, Big Brother or Big Sister, in order to make a difference in a child's life. Your participation is necessary to positively impact the future of our community.
Here are answers to common questions about the Big Brothers Big Sisters program:
bull;What is the mentor application process?
Anyone age 18 or older may apply. The application takes about 10 minutes to complete. It also includes a one hour interview process as well as a one hour online training course. The entire process takes about 2 hours. Our organization wants to get to know all about you so we can match you up to the right child, Little, as we strive to have our matches last one year, if not a life time.
bull;How much time does it take to mentor?
There are 2 types of programs: school-based and community based. We ask school based mentors to spend at least one lunch period per week with their Little and maybe some extra time before and after lunch to assist them with their school projects and assignments. Community based mentors should devote at least one hour a week about twice a month..
bull;Do I have a choice in the child I am matched with?
Definitely! We encourage you to specify an age, school and personality traits that you seek.
bull;How much will being a mentor cost me?
There is no cost to sign up to be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Any additional costs are up to the mentor, but we do stress not to become the Littles "Santa Claus." We do not want unrealistic expectations for any child. Traditional costs include gas expenses to and from the school and/or home for visits. Big Brothers Big Sisters receives many donations to area events that we pass along to our volunteers and we host special events throughout the year.
bull;Can I bring my children along with me?
Our traditional match is a Big Brother or Big Sister matched to a Little Brother or Little Sister; however, we do have Couple Matches and Family Matches. Yet, anyone age 16 or older must go through an application process.
bull;What if I do not have any special talents or know what to do with a child?
You do not need any special talents. Just be yourself. All mentors ages 18-98 have something to offer and that is "friendship." We also introduce each match and help to suggest fun activities to get to know one another.
The bottom line is Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donor-supported volunteer group that places caring adults in the lives of children in one-to-one mentoring relationships. Through the positive impact of these friendships, children with a Big Brother or Big Sister are more likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol or engage in negative conflict.
Big Brothers Big Sisters' doors are always open for the public to stop by and learn more about what the program offers and how it impacts a child's life. Stop by at your convenience at 119 N Main Street, Jacksboro, or call us at 940-567-2112 for further information. We can come out to your home or work to explain the program. Please visit our Web site at bbbstx.org. Start Something Big . . .