Be a Big



Earlier this month I mentioned January is National Mentoring Month. Although I never was a Little Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma (BBBSOK), I’ve decided to join the hundreds of Bigs in Tulsa (including TulsaPeople Magazine’s own Joy Jenkins and Michelle Pollard) who mentor our youth.

I’m also pleased to say that this year, Tulsa’s Young Professionals (TYPros) has partnered with BBBSOK to make Tulsa a stronger community. Nearly 100 TYPros members already serve as Bigs, and both organizations will work together throughout the year to bring more mentors to children.

For those of you who are interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, Jennifer Ashbaugh, coordinator for recruitment and marketing at BBBSOK, shares a few words of advice:

- “The flexibility of our program allows busy young professionals a hands-on opportunity to impact a child's life, just like our own lives were changed by the adults who reached out to us. “

- “Almost anyone can be a Big. We have volunteers ranging in age from 18 to 86 and from all walks of life. However, we are always looking for men or married couples that want to befriend a Little Brother.”

- “Mentoring benefits everyone. Children matched with a Big are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They will perform better in school. They will be less violent. Big Brothers and Big Sisters say, ‘I get so much more than I give’. Our research proves that a mentor also positively impacts a child's relationship with his or her parents, teachers and friends. Our entire community grows stronger when caring adults involve themselves in a child's life.”

To get involved with BBBSOK, visit www.bbbsok.org or call 744-4400.

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