Think back to being eight years old. No matter how far some of us may have to reach, we can all remember the feeling of eight. You are full of energy and curiosity. You rely on adults around you for care but you have an insatiable desire to chart a path.
Growing independence meets delicate vulnerability. And at the core is a little person, setting the building blocks of the adult they will one day become. It is an exciting time filled with wonder and opportunity.
Our early years are the most important, foundational moments in developing who we will become. The best lessons—those that set us up for success by giving us confidence to explore and overcome—can only be learned when we have the support of a trusted mentor to guide us.
Some children just don’t have access to people in their lives who have the time or capacity to be this mentor to the extent that they need. This is a hard concept for some to grasp—a perspective perhaps limited by our own experience.
It’s difficult, and maybe even painful, to imagine this being the case for a child, but we know this to be true. There are families where dual parents need additional support or need a friend for their child—a relationship that can’t be created from mom or dad. There are children who would benefit from a younger role model in their lives because their caregivers are elderly. There are single parents who want to ensure their child has the influence of a strong figure they can relate to. And, there are children who come from more vulnerable situations—those with additional adversities who need support.
No matter the situation, everyone needs a positive influence in their lives. Care, attention, routine—these are all the intangible touchpoints that build confidence and comfort in a young person’s life. The power of a personal moment of growth is almost impossible to communicate, but it’s what we do as an organization every day.
For 50 years Big Brothers Big Sisters Regina & Area has matched children of all ages—in all stages of growth and discovery—with trusted mentors who give them the support they need to flourish. As Amy Noureldin, Regional Director noted, “To have a consistent role model that isn’t their parent or teacher; who is there because they think that kid is cool, that’s the human power needed for us to operate.”
It is proven that children with mentorship grow into more confident young adults, have better self-esteem, and stronger relationships. In fact, Littles are shown to have improved grades, higher graduation rates and better job outcomes as adults. These are the tangible results of support and care through mentorship. As one Big put it – “We are helping them build purpose. We are telling them ‘You are worthy and you are capable’. Everybody deserves that experience.”
The benefits of mentorship are not just felt by the Littles. One Big said of their Little “She taught me to be brave. I saw her grow into who she was, and become herself. And, she taught me about resiliency. Life threw a lot at her, and she had this ability to roll with it. I saw that and wanted to be able to take a page from her book—roll with what life gives you. At the same time, I think I helped her feel seen and to know that she had people around her who liked her exactly as she was.”
Our donors make the lives of Littles better. We rely on donations to allow us to connect with Littles who need our services, find and work with Bigs and determine their fit with the organization, take the time to learn about the Littles and their individual needs and match them with a Big who is their best fit, and then provide continued support to that match. Our core business is making meaningful connections, and donations help us do that for the many children in our communities who need it.
Our Future 50 campaign was launched this year to celebrate 50 years of operation in Regina and area. That’s 50 years of setting little people up for success and happier, healthier lives. As a Future 50 donor your donation is a legacy and a lifeline. It is a clear path to positivity, growth, and critical support for a child in your community. Every person, especially those of us who are little, needs to hear “You’ve got it, buddy.” and know there’s someone behind them as they take a step into the world ahead of them.