Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs to Celebrate National Mentoring Month, Host Motivational Speaker

DUBOIS – The Guidance Center’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, along with Children’s Aid Society’s BBBS program, will participate in the 15th annual National Mentoring Month.

The programs will host local resident, retired marine sergeant major and motivational speaker, Todd Parisi on Jan. 9 at the DuBois Mall. Starting at 1:45 p.m., Parisi will speak to the audience about “Paying It Forward.”

“There is a powerful mentoring effect demonstrated by research and the experiences of young people who are connected to a mentor in real life,” said Cinde Schuckers, program coordinator for BBBS of Jefferson, Elk and McKean counties.

“Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects for young people, and that ultimately strengthens our communities.”

Research has shown that when matched through a quality program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions. It also helps youth to stay focused and engaged in school, and to reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities.

For example, in a recent national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor.

They were also:

  • 81 percent more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
  • 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
  • More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.

“This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor,” said Schuckers.

“As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we will share a simple message: Mentor in real life.

“Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter, and mentors frequently report back that their relationships make them feel like someone is there to help them make the right choices in life.”

For more information, contact The Guidance Center at 1-877-776-1636 or Children’s Aid Society at 814-765-2687. Visit Big Brothers Big Sisters of America at www.bbbsa.org.

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