Through your donations the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program is building self-esteem, social connectedness, resilience skills and knowledge to strengthen educational, economic and social participation of young people in the region. A $15,000 grant from the Give Where You Live Foundation has enabled the recruitment, screening and training of volunteers and the ongoing support of both the volunteer and their ‘Littles’ for the duration of their match. The average cost of a BBBS mentoring match for 12 months is $1500 therefore this grant has funded 10 matches in the Geelong region over the past 12 months.
Barwon Child Youth & Family are the proud providers of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Geelong. BBBS Geelong facilitates and supports volunteer mentors, Big Brothers or Sisters, to be positive role models and develop meaningful friendships to a young person in need of some additional adult support. Little Brothers or Sisters, aged 12-17 years old who participate in the BBBS Geelong program come from the Surf Coast and the Bellarine Peninsula. Big Brothers and Sisters spend a minimum of 12 months developing their friendship and engaging in regular fun activities with their ‘Littles’.
One match that has been funded by the Give Where You Live Foundation grant is between Big Brother John and Little Brother Max. Max was 14 years old when he was referred to the program; he was a quiet and shy young man lacking in confidence. Max has now been matched with his Big Brother John for 12 months; together they enjoy activities such as “man chats”, going to the movies, tenpin bowling and scenic beach drives. They have grown a trusting and respectful friendship and Max’s confidence has grown substantially in the time he has been spending time with John.
The importance of mentors like John cannot be underscored. A 2014 study The Mentoring Effect, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership showed that young people with formal and even informal mentors in their lives were far more likely to stay in school, enroll in college, become active in sports, become leaders and generally pursue higher goals than those who do not have mentoring relationships in their lives.