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United Way of Thunder Bay - Community Impact - United Way At Work Articles - Mentoring Makes A Difference For Kids

Mentoring Makes A Difference For Kids

Big Brothers Big Sisters Thunder Bay’s Traditional Mentoring Program matches children and youth between the ages of six to fifteen with a Big Brother or Big Sister. Once matched, the Big and Little can participate in the program until the Little Brother or Little Sister turns eighteen years old. Together the mentor and child spend two to four hours a week together participating in activities that they both enjoy. They get to learn about new things and have fun all while building a strong mentoring relationship. This program is so vital to the children served as well as the community because a child who spends time with a mentor or role model gains self-confidence and self-esteem, which in turn helps them to become more resilient and develop an enhanced capacity to care for others and give back to the community.

Tyler was matched with his Big Brother Corey last year and the match is going great! The Big and Little meet consistently and always have fun together. The agency staff has had the pleasure of spending time with this match at different agency events over the past year and can see the difference the Big Brother is making in the life of his Little Brother. Corey indicated that Tyler has really opened up to him since they first met, and that Tyler is not the shy little boy he was in the beginning of their relationship. Tyler’s mom has noticed positive changes since her son was matched with his big Brother Corey also. She says “Tyler definitely feels less isolated as he now has someone to talk to, look up to and has a new friend. He is learning new skills because he now has a social/vocational mentor.” The family is also feeling supported because of the male mentorship Tyler is now receiving.

Thanks to the Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring program funded in part by the United Way, this young person is one step closer to reaching his full potential. Tyler has increased self-esteem and resilience, become more social and has built better relationships with his peers, family and other adults. And just like every parent hopes for their little ones, Tyler’s mom says she feels “Tyler definitely has a better sense of well-being and is happier.” It is stories like Tyler and Corey’s that prove that mentoring makes a difference!

The United Way of Thunder Bay is addressing social issues in our community and investing in 3 critical areas: Moving people from poverty to possibility; Fostering a strong community; Helping kids to be all they can be. Your donations are improving lives for local people every day. By donating to the 2014 United Way campaign you will give children like Tyler the support they need to succeed, believe in themselves and to build their own bright futures. This support can help a child thrive instead of merely survive. Your generosity is helping to provide services like Big Brother Big Sister Traditional Mentoring and 62 other local programs in our community.

To learn more about programs supported by the United Way and how you can make a difference by giving, explore our website or call 623-6420 today.

United Way of Thunder Bay is leading the way to a better community by improving the quality of life for all local people. By collaborating with community partners, we are leading the way to addressing social issues in our community and investing in three critical areas: Poverty, Kids and Strong Communities. Donations to the United Way are strategically invested across Thunder Bay to many vital programs and initiatives in these areas, creating a social safety net that works to achieve lasting change for our neighbours, families and friends.

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