Celebrating 50 Years of Service in Rhode Island
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State Kicks off Milestone with National Mentoring Month
This January marks the 15th annual National Mentoring Month as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State’s (BBBSOS) 50th Anniversary. “We have been providing high quality mentoring services to children throughout Rhode Island for half a century,” said Alison Reuter, President of the Board of Directors of BBBSOS. “I am extremely proud to be part of this organization and to be celebrating this significant milestone!”
Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities. For example, in a recent national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. They were also:
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor. Today, in Rhode Island there are thousands of kids who could benefit from having a mentor.
BBBSOS will kick off the 50th Anniversary Celebration with a Breakfast on January 21st, National Thank Your Mentor Day. On June 4, 2016 the festivities will continue with The Big Night Out – Classic Hollywood, the organization’s annual gala event held at the Hyatt Regency Newport. BBBSOS will continue to celebrate throughout 2016 by showcasing impactful mentoring relationships, reaching out to stakeholders to say thank you, and hosting gatherings that highlight this milestone and the many accomplishments of the organization over the last 50 years.
Other important dates for National Mentoring Month include:
- January 14, 2016: “I Am a Mentor Day,” when volunteers across our community and the country will share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL.
- January 18, 2016: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, when our nation will shine a spotlight on volunteerism and inspire people seeking service opportunities to learn more about mentoring.
National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Highland Street Foundation. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the president and the United States Congress. Other prominent individuals who have participated in the campaign include: Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Russell and Usher.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State’s mission is to provide mentors to the youth of Rhode Island who motivate and empower them to make positive decisions, improve academic results, avoid risky behaviors and grow in a way that will positively impact our community. The wait list for children who need a mentor continues to grow and volunteers are needed.