Big Brothers Big Sisters month shines light on group's value

By Ian Holmes
September 7, 2018 - 6:15pm

60 to 80 kids are constantly waiting to be paired with a BBBS mentor on the mid island.Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island

NANAIMO — A non-profit group tasked with steering thousands of Nanaimo area kids on the right path will enjoy a little extra attention this month.

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is being recognized nationally in Sept., including locally where its flag is flapping for the month atop City Hall.

Jennifer Kemp, BBBS Central Vancouver Island executive director, told NanaimoNewsNOW their organization provides critical mentorship to hundreds of kids annually from Ladysmith to the Oceanside region.

Kemp said the value their mentors supply to vulnerable children is immeasurable.

“From staying in school to just getting through hard times in their lives, mentors can be life savers in a lot of ways. We see that everyday, the more we can share that the better.”

Kemp said upwards of 125 mentors this time of year provide primarily in-school roles where children are accompanied by their caregiver for an hour a week.

“Most of our children come from single parent families or are being raised by grandparents or other families, there seems to be a greater need for male mentors.”

Kemp said they serve 150 kids annually, while their waiting list is steadily of six to 16-year-olds is consistently in the 60 to 80 range.

Mentors are asked to commit up to four hours weekly, while undergoing extensive screening, interview and training process prior to coming on board, according to Kemp.

Those interested in being a Big Brother Big Sister Central Vancouver Island mentor are asked to send an email to [email protected].

 

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On Twitter: @reporterholmes

 

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