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BBBS focuses on mentoring in January

Big Brother Big Sisters of North Alabama is observing January as National Mentoring Month. CONTRIBUTED
Big Brother Big Sisters of North Alabama is observing January as National Mentoring Month. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON COUNTY – During January, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of North Alabama is participating in the campaign for National Mentoring Month.

Big Brothers Big Sisters will expand quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of Madison County’s young people with caring adults. Around North Alabama, various companies will host Lunch & Learn sessions to raise awareness and recruit mentors.

“Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects for your people, and that ultimately strengthens our community,” Rebekah Schmidt said. Schmidt is BBBS Resource Development Director.

“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,” Schmidt said. In addition, youth are motivated to reduce or avoid risky behavior, such as skipping school and using drugs.

Locally, more than 100 young people are on a waitlist and need a mentor. “As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we will share a simple message: ‘Mentoring Matters,'” Schmidt said.

“Mentoring relationships are basic human connections that let a young person know that they matter,” she said. “Mentors frequently report back that their relationships make them feel like someone is there to help them make the right choices in life.”

On Jan. 28, EarlyWorks Children’s Museum will host the “Honoring Our Mentors Gala.” Leaders will recognize the “Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year,” who for this year are Big Brother Brandon Staten and Big Sister Sharron Triolo.

For more information about role mentoring or to schedule a Lunch & Learn session, call 256-880-2123 or visit bbbsna.org.

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