Rapid City, SD January is National Mentor month and Big Brothers Big Sisters is just one of the ways adults can mentor a child in the community.
Mentoring is defined as a person who is an experienced or trusted adviser but to a child in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.... it is so much more.
Nicole Burdick, Big Brothers Big Sisters Rapid City executive director says, "There’s a lot of reasons behind it some of the kids come from single mother backgrounds we have some kids in our programs that have a mother and a father but they are working two jobs each trying to make ends meat so they need a little extra guidance and help from somebody."
Last year alone Big Brothers Big Sisters served 322 matches and they are still in need of adults who want to make a positive impact.
Burdick says,"Why do we need mentors? Because there are 57 children who are waiting for somebody to come in and make an impact on their life."
There are several ways to get involved including the classic one on one match, school and hunting mentoring programs the Big Family program.
Lakeesha Broughton, mentor says,"We were just looking for an opportunity to help because we just have a passionate heart for children so we just started researching ways that we could get involved in the community dealing with children and we came across big brothers big sisters and we started getting in to it."
William Broughton says, "Being a mentor for them is giving them the opportunity to see things, to offer the opportunities down the road so being a mentor is to inspire, to help and to guide them in the right direction."
They say being a mentor isn’t hard and can make a difference not only on the child but for the BIGS as well.
Lakeesha says,"Especially if you want to touch a life, it doesn't take a lot of work I know people usually don’t volunteer because they think it is hard and the process is hard but that’s not true."
And the importance of mentoring is truly visible when talking to the Littles.
Bradley Wright, Little says, "They are important to me and they are really fun."
Burdick says, "The children that we are working with right now, are the children of the future of our community and it is up to us to help them and guide them to a better tomorrow for our community because they are the ones who are going to be running this community in about 20 years."