There’s a Child Waiting for Your Friendship – Become a Mentor. (Dan and Alex’s Story)
About a year ago, “Dan”* realized he wasn’t achieving any meaningful goals in his life. So he started looking for volunteer opportunities. Remembering the positive influences of mentors when he was young, Dan decided to become a mentor too – with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cowichan Valley (BBBSCV).
“Alex”* is a 13-year old from a single-parent household who had been waiting for a Big Brother for 6 years. After Alex and Dan met, it didn’t take long for these two to get to know each other. They bonded over bike repairs. And soon these thrill-seekers were off on countless outdoor adventures.
While Dan appreciates what their relationship means to Alex, he’s most impressed by what mentoring has meant to him. “Coming into this, I thought I would just be helping Alex. But by becoming a part of Alex’s life, I’ve gained clarity on what it is truly important to me.”
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is when a person, couple, or family shares their time, knowledge, skills, and experiences to help a child in need.
Mentors advise and challenge young people helping them to reach their full potential. They act as their champions and provide greater consistency in a child’s life. Mentors connect youth to broader experiences, opportunities, and networks. They provide youth with safe, non-judgemental environments and caring adults to trust.
How YOU Can Get Involved:
BBBSCV is seeking mentors for the following programs. No experience is required.
1. Community Program
- Serves children age 6-19
- Match types include Big Brothers (adult male mentors), Big Sisters (adult female mentors), and Couples for Kids (adult mentors in a couple) Relationships take place “ out and about” in the community for a minimum of one year commitment
- Activities can include outdoor adventures, getting ice cream, going bowling, swimming, heading to a movie, etc.
- Time commitment: 2-4 hours/week, year round
- Open to adults 19+/families with children 16+
2. In-School Mentoring
- Serves children in grades 2-7
- Match types include Big Buddy (adult mentor), Teen Mentor (high school mentor), and Seniors for Kids (elder mentor)
- Meet-ups take place on school grounds and during the school day (in collaboration with partnering schools)
- Activities include board games, crafts, reading, baking, etc. (In-School Mentoring is not academic tutoring)
- Time commitment: About 1 hour a week, during the school year
- Open to teens in grades 10-12 (enrolled through collaborating schools) and adults 19+
3. Group Mentoring
- Serves youth aged 11-14, divided by self-identified gender into “Game On” (boys) and “Go Girls” (girls)
- 8-10 youth are matched with 2 adult mentors (group leaders) each session
- Sessions are held mostly on school grounds and during the school year (select Group Mentoring sessions also take place during the summer in the community)
- Activities are structured and follow a curriculum to deal with age-specific issues like physical activity/healthy eating, self-esteem, healthy relationships, and media/peer influences
- Time commitment: 2 hours per week over a 7 week session
- Open to adults 19+
Get Started Today
To Learn More
- Call Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cowichan Valley at 250-748-BIGS
- Visit www.bbbscowichan.ca
- Check us out on Facebook @BBBScowichanvalley
You’ll be surprised how much you can do to help a young person.
Information/orientation sessions on now!
(*names changed to protect anonymity)