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Media Release – Volunteers Needed To Mentor Children and Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO MENTOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

January is #MentoringMonth

Across Alberta, volunteers are needed to help address the more than 3000 children and youth currently waiting to be matched with mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area (BBBS) is joining in a rallying cry across the province for caring Albertans to sign up to become mentors.

January is #MentoringMonth, and BBBS has teamed up with the Alberta Mentoring Partnership; government, school and community partners; and other mentoring organizations from across the province to shine a spotlight on the critical impact that mentoring has on the lives of young people, and the growing demand for volunteer mentors. All Albertans are being called on to volunteer for as little as one hour a week in their communities and schools to change the life of a young person and the future of
their community.

“There are so many kids right here in our community who are waiting for someone to help them overcome challenges, to encourage their hopes and dreams, and to open their minds to a broader world of possibilities,” said Jodi McKay, Manager, Recruitment and Partnerships with BBBS. “We each have what it takes to make a real, lasting difference in the lives of these children and youth, by showing up and being a consistent, caring presence.”

Across Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently has 386 children and youth on its waitlist, all of whom are facing some kind of adversity. Without the support of additional caring relationships, these kids are at risk of not living up to their full potential, and even more serious is the possibility of continuing cycles of poverty and crime and a lifetime of chronic physical and mental health issues.

Research has shown that one of the most impactful ways of lessening the harmful effects of adversity on a child’s development is by building resilience through caring, supportive relationships. According to Harvard University’s Centre on the Developing Child, “Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult.”

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About Mentoring Month:

In conjunction with MENTOR (The USA‐based National Mentoring Partnership) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC), the Alberta Mentoring Partnership (AMP) has coordinated a province‐wide, grassroots campaign to raise the awareness of mentoring and recruit volunteer mentors for young people. For more information, visit albertamentors.ca/mentoring‐month