Influence of Positive Role Models
My husband and I have been active in our church youth group for the past 10 years. Why? Because we believe we have something to offer that age group. No, we are not better than them or perfect in any way… but we can show kindness and compassion to them. We adore the youth we have worked with and are now seeing many of them mentor others. Youth from our original group are getting married and having families. In fact, we just saw a couple on Monday, both from the church, who are expecting their first child. We talked about having them come to dinner so we could talk about parenting and other fun stuff. Another teenage boy brought into our youth for a weight lifting contest is now married, a children’s pastor, and welcomed a son into his life yesterday. It is so awesome seeing all of them grow and prosper.
We have kept in touch with several of our past youth and are still building relationships with new ones. We have a few that stop by on occasion, call when they need assistance, or text when they need to talk. Even with our own children in tow, they all know they are important to us and we are here for them as well. We have consulted those that have run away, been kicked out, are fighting depression, lost a loved one, and so many other scenarios over the years. Each circumstance, each child has grown us into better people. Better parents. We have an open door policy and our children know and understand that. I hope they grow up with the same compassion we teach them by showing it by example.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Program
I firmly believe the influence of positive role models whether through the church, school, outside family member, or organization such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program is a great way to be mentored. Did you know that there is no special training or degree necessary to positively influence a child? Whether you are a laborer, lawyer, teacher, chef, clerk, or stay-at-home parent, you are equipped to mentor and be a role model.
Did you also know that 20% of the children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program are Hispanic? And that number is only growing unfortunately. Yet, only 9% of the program’s “Bigs” are Latino. Plus, over 70% of the children waiting to be matched with a mentor are boys. And the volunteers? Primarily women. In fact, 3 out of 10 volunteers are men.
For over 100 years, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has continuously changed lives. The children involved are less likely to skip school, use drugs, or drink alcohol. And all of that stems from a few hours each month just hanging out and having fun with the littles. A movie. Bike ride. Baking a cake. They may seem like small things to some people, but in the life of a child seeking encouragement it can mean the world.
Have you ever thought about the positive impact you could have in a young person’s life? Are you interested in learning more about serving as a role model to our youth? In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, learn more about becoming a Latino Big today. Your time and passion could forever change the life of a child seeking your companionship. You can also like Latino Bigs on Facebook and follow along on Twitter.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Twitter Chat
Make sure to join Latina Mom Bloggers and Big Brothers and Big Sisters on Wednesday, October 10th from 7- 8:00 pm ET for a Twitter Chat! There will be lots of information regarding our Latino “littles” and their need for “Big” volunteers! Lets work together to support our youth, our future. Follow the hashtag #LatinoBigs