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Month: October 2014

We think so! And, as it turns out, the data backs us up. The results of two recent studies have contributed to a growing body of evidence that Big Brothers Big Sisters’ community-based youth mentoring programs provide significant personal, economic, and social benefits.

The first, by economics professor Phillip Levine of Wellesley College, is part of the Brooking Institute’s Hamilton Project. The proposal, Designing Effective Mentoring Programs for Disadvantaged Youth outlines several findings that illustrate the efficacy of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring programs.

Levine finds that the Big Brothers Big Sisters model includes five elements that are essential to creating long-term positive effects for youth facing adversity:

• Thorough screening of potential mentors
• Thorough screening of potential mentees
• Training of mentors
• Matches based on preferences and expediency
• Supervision of the match relationship

Levine states, “By the standards of program evaluation, the Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based program is an effective one and it should be emulated.”

The annual cost of supporting one community-based match is approximately $1,500. Levine finds, through analysis that converts grade-point averages to lifetime wages, that the economic benefits of BBBS exceed this cost by a ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore, he states that “mentoring programs are a great investment.”

The second study, commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and conducted by Philliber Research Associates (PRA), found statistical evidence proving that one-on-one mentoring causes a significant decrease in risk factors among youth.

After a period of 15 months in a one-on-one mentoring relationship, youth experienced a 21% decline in risk factors, including violent behavior, drug and alcohol use, and school absenteeism. Non-mentored youth over the same period experienced a 13% increase for the same risk factors.

The same study found that one-on-one mentoring has a greater impact on middle school students than high school students, and that it is equally effective for boys and girls. The first positive changes were reported after 6 months in a mentoring relationship, and continued throughout the 15-month period.

Dr. Bill Philliber, principal at PRA, stated, “This study demonstrates that mentoring has a positive impact on the lives of young people, reducing risk factors that would impede their path to success in life and giving them a chance to reach their full potential. Young people who have mentors in their lives achieve higher levels of academic success, develop stronger relationships with their peers and families, and make better choices.”

News Sources: Washington Post, Business Wire

Local Artists Come Together to Help Local Kids

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) –Dozens of artists donated their time and talents this weekend for a good cause.  The 22nd Annual Southwest Flair A-Fair benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson.

“I just straighten out a lot of the horse shoes to different shapes and sizes and some of the stuff I do have to heat and forge,” says Gary Maupin with Rustic Forged Creations.

Maupin says word of mouth brought him to the event at Plaza Palomino near Swan and Fort Lowell.

“Once I heard about it I decided I want to come out and do the show to help the kids with anything I can.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children thrive through mentorship and other programs.

“I think we need more community involvement,” says pottery artist Linda Star Baker with Star Shine Pottery.  “We need to be able to step out of ourselves from time to time and a lot of people don’t take the time to do that.”

Some 150 artists were inspired to help in the three-day event.

“I guess I would say I’m contemporary folk art in a very colorful way,” says Regina Lord with Creative Kismet.  She attended the art show for a second time.

“They just are a great group of people and I had a great time last year so I wanted to do it again.”

If you missed the event but would still like to help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson, you can learn more about volunteering or make a donation here.

 

News Source: Tucson News Now

Big Ten Conference Raises Funds!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson would like to say a BIG thank you to Tucson’s Big Ten Alumni Conference for their generous contribution of $2,000 to fund our mentoring programs! Big Ten Alumni kicked off the 2014 college football season with a mixer at Fox and Hound on August 23. Teams representing each Big Ten university competed to raise money for BBBST. Attendees enjoyed great food and drink, raffle prizes, and entertainment from the University of Arizona Alumni Pep Band. You can see photos from the event here. Thank you to Tucson’s Big Ten Alumni!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson would like to say a BIG thank you to Jersey Mike’s Subs at 3400 E. Speedway. Jersey Mike’s selected BBBST as the recipient of their grand opening fundraiser from September 10 to September 14, 2014. Over four days, Jersey Mike’s raised $3,772 to support our mentoring programs – and Jersey Mike’s staff donated all of their tips! Thank you to Jersey Mike’s for their generous support of BBBST!