Mentors Help Local Students Picture & Achieve Their Dreams

  For young people, there’s a special kind of magic that comes from having a supportive adult in their corner. It’s the feeling of someone seeing their potential. It’s the confidence to see themselves as capable of anything. It’s having the answers to questions they didn’t even know they should be asking. We partner with the mentors at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota to help make more of that magic in local kids’ lives. The program pairs caring teenagers with local students to ignite the power and promise of youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota provides youth with professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that help them succeed in life. Each mentoring match is professionally supported by a Match Support Specialist to help ensure child safety and aid the match in attaining their goals. Youth who are matched in the program learn life skills, do better academically and build their confidence and self-esteem. Every time volunteers and mentees connect, it better prepares that young person to tackle life’s curveballs and achieve their dreams. Just how impactful can a mentor be? Studies have shown that of young people who have a caring adult in their corner:
  • 76 percent aspire to enroll in and graduate from college*
  • 51 percent hold a leadership position in a club, sports team, school council, or another group*
  • 48 percent volunteer regularly in their communities*
These experiences can help kids develop agency and build self-confidence, as well as better prepare them to face challenges before, during, and after high school.   Big Brothers Big Sisters offers both a community-based and school-site mentoring program. The traditional community-based program is a match between a positive adult role model and a child. They spend time together in the community, a minimum of twice per month, participating in activities and interests they both enjoy. The school-site program is a match between a positive adult or high school student and a child that takes place at the child’s school. The school-site match meets on a weekly basis and works on homework, plays games, eats lunch, or simply talks. Note: During COVID-19, all school-site matches are meeting virtually. Big Brothers Big Sisters has created an online virtual academy to assist matches with fun and educational activities they can do via virtual platforms together.  

Dodge County Program

In 2019, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota served 161 youth in Dodge County by providing them with an additional positive role model in their lives. Since the fall of 2020, they have served 126 youth in Dodge County, with an additional 39 high school mentors to be matched. While all Big Brothers Big Sisters services are free to families, there is a cost to professionally supported mentor matches. This cost includes interviewing the volunteer, completing background and references checks, enrolling the little, creating an ideal match based on personality and interests, and supporting the match by connecting with the little, the big, and the parent on a regular basis to ensure child safety and help navigate the match. You can also support mentorship in the community by making a gift to the United Way of Dodge County. Your support helps make it possible for us to continue our fight to help all kids succeed. *Source: The Mentoring Effect, The National Mentoring Partnership