TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona was busy recruiting during the month of January as it celebrated National Mentoring Awareness Month.
The organization pairs children in need of guidance with mentors and said right now there are about 100 kids on the waiting list to be matched.
CEO Marie Logan said getting involved is easy even if you have a busy schedule. Mentors can help younger children still in school or teens getting ready to graduate. She said it's all about providing support.
“The most important thing about this program is just being a friend to a child. The kids in our program, they have so much potential and they’re so ready for another friend to help them and guide them along the way and that’s really what our program is about”
To help with recruiting, the organization launched a new program called the Voice of Potential. It chose a mentee to be the organization's spokesperson to share their story and show how impactful mentoring can be.
This year’s VOP is Dominique Barnes, a student a Rincon High School. She was matched with Nichole Wiley when she was 13 years old.
Barnes, who had lost someone close to her, said she had trouble opening up as she coped. She said Wiley helped her gain confidence and taught her to be more outgoing and helped her find her voice.
She said being part of the program has changed her life.
“If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have been able to been through the things I’ve been through. Or, I feel like if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have become more open, especially with myself," she said.
Meanwhile, Wiley said the experience has been life-changing for her as well.
“I’m now a mother, but before that, I think Dominique kind of prepped me a little bit to know what’s it’s like to care for somebody so much and guide them along the way," she said.
To learn more about getting involved, click here: https://www.soazbigs.org/volunteer/