The Big Brothers Big Sisters STEAM Fair took place on March 7th, encouraging individuals interested in becoming a “Big,” to learn more about the program and showcase the teamwork of the matches by inviting the community to see their projects.
Being a mentor can positively impact the life of a youth. By providing a new perspective, a listening ear, and hope you can alter the course of their life for the better. Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) matches youth who may be struggling in school or facing challenging interpersonal issues with a volunteer mentor, or “Big.” The Big Brothers Big Sisters program has a presence in every school in Pacific County and has plans to expand to community matches.
The Ilwaco Bigs & Littles have worked together for months to create fun and even altruistic creations for their fellow students and community.
“I think it is a great thing for the kids’ self-esteem and confidence to present their projects to show their parents and communities what they have put so much effort into and see that come to fruition,” said Robyn Handley, the AmeriCorps member serving at Big Brothers Big Sisters in South County. “These kids often struggle in some ways and they don’t see the pride in their school work often. But now they get to show off their work and show how much they love their community.”
Another match is raising money for the Humane Society, and she will display the painted jars and poster she designed for the coin drive she is spearheading. Another Big & Little decided they wanted to put plants in the high school, and researched how plants affect well-being. They showed off their painted flower pots filled with succulents, which have been put in the school. Another match wanted to tackle bullying by making a “bully coaster,” through their creation of a rollercoaster out of paper, and one marble chases another until something intervenes, stopping the “bully” marble.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is aiming to expand its community matches. Although not an entirely new program for Pacific County, Handley hopes to greatly increase the community match program. BBBS is particularly excited about establishing the “Bigs with Badges,” program here, which partners with the police and fire department to match them with Littles. The impact on the Littles is lasting, although the Bigs have only a 3-5 hours commitment a month. Bigs are given a list of ideas such as free movie nights at the libraries, free art classes at home depot, geocaching, and exploring local parks, which emphasizes that the matches are asked only to spend quality time together.
If you are interested in becoming a big or are a youth that would like to have a community-based mentor please contact Robyn Handley at firstname.lastname@example.org