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The 100 Male Bigs Campaign and the Importance of Mentorship


For 2024, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Indiana has set an incredible and inspiring goal of bringing in 100 new Male Bigs! Currently, BBBS of Southwestern Indiana has 102 kids that they have not found bigs for, and of those 102, 60 of them are young men. 


“We currently have 60 boys without the positive male role models that every boy deserves,” said Scott. “As a former school administrator, I can tell you that boys aren’t doing super awesome these days. In fact, boys are four times more likely to be expelled and twice as likely to abuse drugs. 30% of boys under the age of 25 are completely dependent; living with either their parents or family. When you take into account that 25% of all kids don’t live in houses with a father, it’s clear to see that our boys need men now more than ever.”


When asked about one of the mantras of BBBS, that being that “kids are the future,” Scott touched upon the integral power that mentoring can have on adolescents.


“All kids want to do well; whether it is in school, behaviorally, or just in life. No kid wakes up each day wanting to go down a path that may eventually lead them to trouble or to an unsuccessful life,” said Scott. “Kids do the best they can with the skills that they have. And those skills–the ones that teach us how to persevere… to have hope in [oneself]–take modeling from a trusted and supportive adult. Sadly, not all kids have the same access to the number of mentors that it takes to get through life. That’s why the power of mentoring is so important. You could literally be the reason that a child overcomes challenges that, prior to your arrival, they would have never had the internal motivation to get through.”


Of the many personal benefits that come from mentoring and being a big through BBBS, Scott emphasized that one of the strongest and most fulfilling is the act of giving back to others and the desire to do good. 


“I have to believe that everyone wants to make a positive impact on their community. It’s hard-wired into us,” said Scott. “As social creatures, we yearn to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and to be a part of a group doing incredible things. With BBBS, you have the opportunity to literally be the change you want to see in the world. By spending a mere three hours with a child, you could radically change the direction of a child’s life. Some kids just need another ear to listen, while others may want access to experiences that their guardians don’t have the time or resources to provide. Kids cast their sights on what they’ve seen, so by offering a child a glimpse of a world they may not be accustomed to, you paint a picture of a reality they may have never thought existed.”


Scott specifically mentioned the progress of Little Brother Sebashton who has been mentored by Big Brother Jeff and Big Sister Cheryl since November of 2023. Throughout his mentorship, Sebashton’s guardian has stated that their son has become more responsible and helpful, saying that with Jeff and Cheryl’s mentorship and guidance, their son is applying what he has learned from them to his everyday life. Additionally, Sebashton’s guardian mentioned that the bigs are great resources for her as they have helped and supported the entire family.


Connections such as these and opportunities to be a part of something greater available and possible for anyone and everyone, as a majority of the Evansville community can apply and qualify to be a big brother or sister.


“At the end of the day, 99.999% of the public make incredible bigs,” said Scott. “It’s not about what you can teach them, or about having the right answers to the world’s toughest questions. It’s not about being a child’s superhero, it’s just about showing up! Showing up for 3 hours a month to walk alongside a child. Life is the hardest thing anyone has to do, but having someone to walk beside you makes it ten times easier. These moments and connections are worth the world to a kid that needs one more positive adult in his or her life.”

 

If you are interested in joining our ranks of defenders of potential, feel free to go to www.mentoringkids.org, where you can fill out an application form. Once you’ve filled it out, Volunteer Outreach and Enrollment Specialist Heather Hicks will contact you.

If you have any questions about BBBS or about being a big, call the BBBS of Southwestern Indiana office at 812-425-06076.

For updates and insight into BBBS of Southwestern Indiana, you can follow them on instagram @mentoringkids, visit them on Facebook, or sign up for their email chain here.



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