Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Month
CONCORD - New Hampshire is celebrating National Mentoring Month with a proclamation naming January Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Month in the Granite State.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire (BBBSNH) staff members and a mentoring match from the Lakes Region recently joined Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council at the statehouse in Concord for an announcement of the proclamation. The organization provides one-to-one mentors to more than 700 youth in New Hampshire each year.
"This is an organization that from day one, from their inception, has been all about providing that one-on-one, individualized opportunity for some of these young men and women and kids all across the state and the country, and they just continue to do great work," Sununu said.
Big Sister Sandy McLaughlin of Gilford and her Little Sister Brianna, along with BBBSNH CEO Stacy Kramer, thanked the governor and executive council for the recognition. Kramer spoke about the urgent need for mentors and the variety of mentoring opportunities offered by BBBSNH, including partnering with local businesses to offer workplace mentoring programs.
Currently, 224 youth in New Hampshire are waiting for a mentor, including many who face adversities such as poverty, parental substance misuse or incarceration, trauma from abuse or neglect, bullying, or academic struggles. Mentors (Bigs) in the program are professionally screened and trained volunteers who commit to spending four hours a month with their mentees (Littles) for at least a year.
"There is a tremendous need in our communities for mentors to provide friendship and guidance to youth, and that need has never been greater with tens of thousands of New Hampshire children directly experiencing the impact of the state's opioid crisis and growing income gap," Kramer said. "All youth have potential, and the capacity of a caring adult to inspire and empower a child is profound."
BBBSNH will continue to celebrate National Mentoring Month throughout January, including recognizing International Mentoring Day on January 17 and National Thank Your Mentor Day on January 30. On that day, many Americans will reach out to thank or honor those individuals who encouraged them, guided them, and had a lasting impact on their lives.
Full text of the state proclamation:
Whereas, everyone remembers someone special - a neighbor, teacher, relative, or friend - who broadened our horizons and brought purpose to our lives; and
Whereas, these special individuals singled us out and volunteered their time to help us become engaged and stay on the right track to success; and
Whereas, every adult has something to offer a child and every child has something to offer to our community; and
Whereas, research has shown that children engaged in healthy and safe one-to-one mentoring relationships are more likely to reach their fullest potential by staying in school and avoiding risky behaviors; and
Whereas, our state embraces the concept of engaging volunteers to mentor children of promise in our community; and
Whereas, all persons, businesses public and private agencies and religious and educational institutions should be encouraged to support mentoring and give young people in our state the gift of time and friendship through Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire.
Now, therefore, I, Christopher T. Sununu, Governor of the State of New Hampshire, do hereby proclaim January 2020 as Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Month in the State of New Hampshire, and call this to the attention of all citizens.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire For 54 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been providing one-to-one mentoring to youth in the Granite State. Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. As an evidence-based program focused on supporting youth so they can achieve academic and social success and avoid risk behaviors, our vision is that all youth reach their fullest potential. For more information about becoming a mentor, or to enroll a child, visit www.bbbsnh.org or call 1-844-NH4-BIGS.