Guest column/Taking time to be a mentor can be rewarding

Big Brothers Big Sisters has been the leader in one-to-one youth service for more than a century, with proven success in creating positive friendships that benefit children, volunteers, families, neighborhoods, and the community. Big Brothers Big Sisters is building partnerships with faith-based congregations to serve as mentors to local children.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jefferson County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors who try to have a measurable impact on youth.

The benefits of young people who are involved with a caring adult are: 27 percent less likely to use alcohol; 46 percent less likely to use drugs; 52 percent less likely to skip school; and 32 percent less likely to hit someone. These are not bad results for mentoring a child for a few hours a month.

In our lives, each of us was touched by someone – other than our parents – who broadened our horizons and brought a little magic into our lives. By becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, you can do the same for a child. And you will both be forever changed by the experience.

A few hours of fun and friendship each week can make a real difference in the life of a child. You can contact our local office at (740) 264-3306 for more information. Join the millions of volunteers nationwide who give a young person someone to look up to and learn why so many are now saying, “I get back so much more than I give.”

(Riccadonna, a resident of Steubenville, is director of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program)