In honor of National Mentoring Month 2015, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring the importance of mentoring for our nation’s youth. Mentoring is one way to help future generations achieve their dreams and reach their fullest potential.
“In a Nation of limitless possibility, every child deserves the chance to unlock his or her potential. When young Americans have the support they need to make the most of themselves, they can achieve their dreams and strengthen our country, which has always moved forward by extending ladders of opportunity to the next generation. Every day, mentors play a vital role in this national mission by helping to broaden the horizons for our daughters and sons. This month, we celebrate these individuals who make it their cause to bring out the best in our young people, and we salute their spirit of service.
Mentors and caring adults serve as essential sources of inspiration, lifting up young people and positioning them to build the America of tomorrow. That is why my Administration continues to expand opportunities for mentoring and support the individuals who enable our future leaders. We are working with businesses to increase apprenticeship programs and connect groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math fields with role models in STEM careers. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative is encouraging campus groups and college students to connect with high schoolers and other near-peers who do not always see themselves completing higher education. Earlier this year, I also launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative that recognizes our responsibility to reach every young person regardless of who they are or where they come from.
Every American shares in the obligation to widen the circle of opportunity for our young people. Our neighbors’ children are our children — and our country must show them we care about and value their boundless potential. At the White House, the First Lady and I started mentoring initiatives, pairing local students with accomplished and caring professionals, and I am proud that members of my Administration are leading by example. To find ways to give back in your local community and participate in these critical, life-changing moments, I encourage all Americans to visit www.Serve.gov/Mentor.
The sense of dedication displayed by all those who invest their time and energy in mentoring reminds us that if we work together, we can ensure there are no limits to what young Americans can achieve. During National Mentoring Month, we honor all those who give of themselves to guide our young people, and we renew our commitment to realizing a future of opportunity for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2015 as National Mentoring Month. I call upon public officials, business and community leaders, educators, and Americans across the country to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.”
National Mentoring Month is a joint initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. It has been celebrated annually since 2002.
Source: The White House Office of the Press Secretary
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson would like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who attended our Open House and Ribbon Cutting ceremony on Saturday, January 10. We enjoyed seeing Bigs and Littles, families, volunteers, staff, board members, and all other community supporters of BBBST come together to celebrate this exciting event. A special thank you to the Warden Family for their gift that made the building renovations possible, as well as Mayor Rothschild and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for arranging the ribbon cutting. The event marked the beginning of another year dedicated to serving even more of Tucson’s children and families. Thank you all for your support of BBBST’s mission and vision.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson is showing off its new facelift and fully renovated interior this weekend, thanks to charitable folks who have contributed to improving the lives of children by donating both money and time to the organization.
A special thanks goes out to the Warden Family, who made the important remodel possible, according to local CEO Marie Logan. The Warden Family donated the lead gift for the renovations, which started last year. The building has been renamed “The Warden Family Mentoring Center.”
On Saturday, January 10, Big Brother’s Big Sisters of Tucson will have an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. to exhibit the newly renovated Downtown building, located at 160 E. Alameda Street, which houses one of America’s favorite organizations. Parents, children and community volunteers will have the chance to scope out new training rooms, meeting rooms, and an open spacious atmosphere that captures the essence of collaboration, a fundamental ideology for an organization whose mission is to mentor children.
The original Downtown location was made possible 22 years ago, when Angel Charity for Children, Inc. donated money for the building. Logan is happy that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson was able to raise enough money again to fund the renovation of such an important asset, the very building that provides space for organizers, mentors and families. The new look is more inviting, according to Logan, who was not a fan of the iron bars formerly surrounding the courtyard.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson has provided mentoring for over 500 kids this year and the organization expects a growth rate of 10% to 15% each year, Logan says. The local goal for BBBS of Tucson is to provide mentoring for over 1000 children and teens.
Mentoring a young person is a rewarding experience for both mentee and mentor. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest and oldest mentoring organization for children. The organization has a successful formula for matching community volunteers with families and children, providing space for a successful match between Bigs and Littles. Once the connection is made, a relationship ensues that lasts for life, in the way that sibling relationships do.
Community volunteers who become a “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” are adults who are role models and who can enrich the life of a young person through simple encouragement and fun activities. Big Brothers Big Sisters screens applying volunteers to ensure safety and success within the match between Big and Little.
A mentor is someone who “imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague.” Mentoring is a truly altruistic action; it’s the kind of giving that feels better than getting. In return, the mentor gets the biggest gift of all – the magic of making a young person smile and the fuzzy vibes that come with knowing you did something good for your community. It is a rare gift. Volunteers know it well. Bigs and Littles value it for life.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson is open again for business. Visit the Downtown location on January 10 between 3 and 5pm and check out the new look, or stop by during business hours any time. The organization also has clothing drop-off boxes around town, locations are posted on the website. For more information, or to volunteer or donate please visit the website or call (520) 624-2447.
The power of kindness is infinite.
This article was originally published in Downtown Tucsonan on January 7, 2015.
Please join us for an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, January 10 from 3 PM to 5 PM. The event will take place at BBBST’s newly-renovated downtown office at 160 East Alameda Street. Join us for a ribbon cutting at 4 PM with Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Building tours and information about volunteer opportunities will be available, and light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there.