Could just one hour a week change a life? According to Barbara Rod, the High School Bigs program manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado, an hour is all it takes to make a difference in the life of a local elementary school student.
Rod is extending an opportunity for local students who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors in the 2015-2016 school year to serve as one-on-one mentors for third to fifth grade Bayfield Elementary students. High school volunteers will meet for one hour after school each week with a younger student to play games, go outside, do crafts, work on homework, or just hang out together.
Positive role modeling has been shown to improve self-confidence, academic performance, and the likelihood that the younger students will go to college. Students paired with a teen mentor also are less likely to engage in risky behavior, show violence toward others, or skip school.
What's in it for the high school student?
Individuals who regularly volunteer tend to be happier and more fulfilled. A history of volunteerism looks great on a job application, college application, and résumes as well. High school volunteers earn their required service hours while simultaneously receiving leadership and life skills training for the future.
Mentors are being sought for the 2015-2016 school year, and the opportunity is open to both public and home-schooled students. Prospective "bigs" are asked to contact Barbara Rod at 247-3720 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.