AUSTIN, Texas — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas is in its recruitment season and is looking for caring adults to sign up as a "Big," more specifically men of color, Big Brothers and bilingual volunteers.
Not familiar with what this organization is about?
Joe Stychalski, vice president of programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, spoke to KVUE about the program.
"We provide one-to-one mentoring for kids in Central Texas," said Stychalski. "We match kids six and up with a positive, caring adult mentor who provides support, guidance, resources and encouragement to them and helps move them towards future success."
Approximately 98% of the kids enrolled in the program come from what is called an opportunity gap, according to Stychalski.
An opportunity gap is a factor or factors that hold a kid back from certain opportunities such as their home environment, socioeconomic background or race and ethnicity.
There are 500 kids on the waitlist currently, 90% of whom are boys, and 80% of them are young African American or Hispanic males.
"The only thing we're lacking to match them is volunteers," Stychalski said.
The commitment to being a part of the program is at least one year to create a bigger impact – this applies to the parents, kids and mentors.
The programs ask those who are Bigs to spend a few hours each month with the child they are matched with. Those hours can be spent doing things like going to a park, getting something to eat, hanging out and talking, and even going grocery shopping.
"A lot of Bigs integrate the children into their everyday life," said Stychalski.
If you would like to learn more about being a Big, you can visit www.BigMentoring.org or call (512) 472-5437.
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