Adults can also benefit from mentoring program

Published 5:00 am Monday, July 19, 2004

A successful mentoring program is providing an opportunity foradults to have an influence on young children’s lives in Brookhavenand Lincoln County.

While the program has already garnered accolades from across thestate, officials with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lincoln Countyare always looking for ways to improve. There’s one sure way to dothat, they say: get more children and adults involved.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters program is now in all three localschool systems, and the need for mentors is growing. Theorganization needs adults and high school juniors and seniors toserve as “bigs” to the student “littles.” Mentors visit with their”littles” for about an hour a week at the child’s school.

Of particular need this year are male mentors.

“We have a lot of boys who need a male figure in their lives,”said Susie Patrick, case worker with the local program.

Benefits abound for both the mentored children and theirmentors.

Patrick said children who have a mentor generally have betterschool attendance and do better in class. The program is not justfor underprivileged or poor children, but for any child who needs afriend.

For their mentoring efforts, past high school-aged mentors havereceived scholarships to help them continue their educations atcollege.

But, benefits of the program are not just for the young.

For adults, being a mentor offers the good feeling ofinteracting with a child and helping them succeed. That will helpmake the community better now and in the future.

Consider being a mentor this year. To borrow from the program’stheme, a little time from you can make a big difference in achild’s life.