By Vanessa Tang and Patricia Sanchez
Big Brothers Big Sisters makes a difference one child at time. Ernest Kent Coulter founded Big Brothers Bigs Sisters 110 years ago. The mentors called “Bigs,” meet with their mentee called a “Little,” and act as their role models. The Littles receive little attention at home and most lack a parent, so they are placed in the program. The Bigs step in and provide the kids with all the support and attention they need. Caring Bigs impact Littles’ lives greatly and give them a brighter future.
Tustin High School’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Club plans on making a difference. Researchers found the effect on the Littles’ behaviors’ significant. Joseph P. Tierney, Jean Baldwin Grossman, and Nancy L. Rescon conducted the study on how Littles have become, “46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, 52% less likely to skip school, 37% less likely to skip a class, and 33% less likely to hit someone,“ after 18 months in the program. Not only have their behaviors improved, but the one-on-one time with their Big allows them to gain confidence in themselves and perform better on their schoolwork.
Tustin High established their very own Big Brothers Big Sisters Club founded by co-presidents Lauren Barnes and Stephanie Noon, advised by Mr. Easter. They are excited to have students join. “It is a lot of fun and you can earn community service hours. The kids are super funny and it’s a fun time for both us and the kids. It’s exciting…” says Lauren when asked how the members benefit from joining their club. This year, the Bigs, “plan to go to Beswick, Heideman, and Veeh elementary schools to mentor Littles,” according to Stephanie. The members dedicate one hour of their time each week to go to the schools and mentor their Littles. This hour spent each week is used to create bonds between the Bigs and the Littles. The Bigs and Littles participate in activities like making Play Dough or just hanging out. This way the Littles will have a role model in their lives.
The club has been rising in popularity because of the experiences it provides. “I joined the club because I love to be with children. I feel that I would love to influence the next generation by putting good thoughts in their heads,” explains Priscilla Alvarez, a freshman who recently joined Tustin High’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Club. The boy Littles are in need of male Bigs. “If you have guy friends, get them to join because we need them!” exclaims the leaders. Males are important to have as well. Both Bigs and Littles benefit from each other. These members are doing something to make lives better and hope that it will be a successful year for them.