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Bigbrother Big Sister

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The main two types of mentoring are natural mentoring and planned mentoring. There are many different ways to describe mentoring, but they all boil down to one thing: a positive, supportive relationship between a young person and a caring adult.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America was started over ninety years ago. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) agencies have provided supportive, one-to-one relationships between adult volunteers and youth living in single-parent homes. National studies are showing that participation in BBBS programs reduce illegal drug and alcohol use, improved academic performance, behavior and attitudes, and improved peer and family relationships (P/PV, 1995a. par. 28).

"Compeer" means a companion who is also a peer or equal (Bordenkircher, p. 2). Loneliness, failure, fear and loss of self-esteem are universal experiences of those who suffer from mental illnesses (Bordenkircher, p. 6). A caring friend can help to restore some joy and hope to a life that is often empty of both.

An evaluation (Cave and Quint 1990) found participants in various mentoring programs had higher levels of college enrollment. Both programs also have community-based mentors that meet with their mentees on evenings and weekends at various locations, including the mentor's home. It is concluded that positive effects are much more likely when one-on-one mentoring has been strongly implemented. Our society shows positive results when we give our adult talents or compassion as a mentor and shows a promising future for our youth.

Mentoring is a word we hear all the time. Professional athletics refer to coaches who mentored them in high school and college. Successful business people thank the supervisors who served as mentors when they started out in their field. Some people even refer to celebrities as the role models who made a difference in their lives. The Merriam- Webster dictionary defines mentor as a trusted counselor or guide (1993, p. 203). An adult can offer support, guidance, and assistance as a younger person goes through a difficult period, faces new challenges, has mental disorders or works to correct earlier problems by continued involvement with the child (Newman, 1990, p. 34).




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