Little People Need Big Help!
(March 10, 2010)
|MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (MCN, 3/4/2010) — The oldest and largest youth
mentoring organization in the United States, since its inception in 1902, is
reaching out to Marine Corps Base Quantico and asking Marines and sailors to be
a positive influence on the development of children through mentorship. |
According to the Big Brother Big Sister program, it has been the leading
one-to-one youth service for more than a century, developing positive
relationships that have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young
Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers mentor children ages 6 through 18, in
communities across the country. Part of the mission is to help children reach
their potential through professional support with the assistance of caring role
models, said Lindsay Edwards, a match and enrollment specialist with
Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“Anyone can be a mentor,” said Edwards. “You don't need any special training.
Specialists will train you as well as support you throughout your entire match.”
An important part of being matched with a “little,” is telling the match
specialists about your interests, likes and dislikes. This is a crucial factor
in the selection process to ensure children are matched with compatible mentors.
“You just need to be yourself and want to have fun.” said Edwards. “We
cross-reference personality types and consider what both the Bigs and Littles
are looking for in a mentor and mentee to find the best match.”
Though relatively short, the commitment is very serious and unfortunately many
potential mentors have the impression that it is only troubled youth who need
“Some of these kids just want a friend and someone to look up to because their
parents work all the time or they don't have many positive influences in their
lives,” said Janelle Betancourt, an enrollment specialist and campus pals
coordinator at the Rappahannock Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters
program asks all of its volunteers if they are able to make a commitment of at
least one year and a minimum of one to two hours a week.
“During that time our volunteers are supported by a match support specialist for
the entire match so they can always be contacted,” said Edwards. “We contact
volunteers each month for the first year of their match to see how things are
To become a mentor there are several requirements, including a brief interview,
a background check and Department of Motor Vehicles check. Volunteers must have
their own vehicles with insurance and a valid driver's license.
“You can also attend a volunteer new mentor training session prior to being
matched or even interviewed,” said Edwards. “In the course, potential mentors
learn more about what it means to be a Big, they discuss potentially challenging
scenarios and interact with currently matched Bigs or Bigs that will soon be
Training sessions are held the last Saturday of every other month at 9 a.m. and
generally last approximately two hours at the Rappahannock Big Brothers Big
Sisters agency in Fredericksburg.
“We have 84 children on our waiting list, many of the children being boys, so we
are in great need of Big Brothers,” said Edwards. “We look forward to hearing
from anyone who is interested involved as soon as possible.”
By USMC Cpl. Christopher Duncan
Marine Corps Base Quantico
Marine Corps News
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