These are types of things that most kids like to do. But that’s why Big Brother (and former IUPUI student) Jim Wisco and his Little Brother Jordan work so well together—Jim likes to do those things too. They can both do “normal” things that they both enjoy doing—but now they do them together.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BBBSCI) currently has around 800 mentors in Central Indiana who make a huge difference every day, but the need is great. BBBSCI currently has about 40 Little Brothers and Littles Sisters around Central Indiana waiting for a mentor with over 400 in the application process.
Bigs are needed, especially Big Brothers and Big Couples. Through the program, volunteers are coached with the help of "Match Support Specialists" who are fully trained, full-time staff who give advice, help, activity suggestions and coupons to their matches. They also work with each match to emphasize:
-higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships
-avoidance of risky behavior
According to an Harris Interactive study, 90% of former Littles stated their Big made them feel better about themselves, 81% said their Big changed their perspective on what they thought was possible in life and 46% now have a household income of $75,000 or more.
Jim has been matched with his Little Brother Jordan since 2006. Wisco said “Overall I just remember the first time I met him and he was a shy little kid. Now he's not little and he's not shy; he's become a great young man. He has become more confident and outgoing over the past couple years. I think that is due to several factors, not the least of which the great support he has from his family, but I hope I have helped some too.”
Bigs meet with their Little for roughly 4-6 hours a month, for a minimum of 12 months. Using a “design your own schedule” approach, Bigs are able to adjust their schedule and change their schedule as they go, meeting their Little in the evenings, over the weekends and even during lunch and partner schools. Wisco also stated, "Time management has been, and still is, a constant challenge. But, I've just tried to do the best I can. Even when I've had too much on my plate, it's been important to me to stick with him- he's a great young man.”
Nothing beats a smile on a child's face. And Wisco hopes more of the IUPUI staff/faculty and students get involved. Wisco said, “I'd definitely recommend BBBSCI to others. It's been a pleasure getting to know him and his family, and we've done so many fun things together that I've enjoyed just as much as him. I hope that I have made and can continue to make a positive impact on his life. And he has made a positive impact on my life as well-it's been a very rewarding experience, and one that I'll always remember.”
To find out more about how you can make an impact in and around the IUPUI campus and through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.
Contact: Laura Halt, Director of Volunteer Engagement
Phone: (317) 472-3730
Visit their website at www.bebigforkids.org