You can be a Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens

3 Dec

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens serves over 300 at-risk and underprivileged children every year in Athens, Vinton, Washington and Meigs Counties. The majority of the children we serve reside at or below the federal poverty line and live with a single parent or guardian. Over 10% of the children in our program have one or both parents incarcerated.

Although our overall matches for children have nearly doubled in 2014, our matches for children with incarcerated parents have remained the same. We believe that this is due to the lack of awareness of the needs of incarcerated children and of the prevalence of this issue in our community.

Most of the children of incarcerated in our program are young boys in need of male role models and all children with incarcerated parents face an increased risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system, decreased academic performance and lower self esteem. Children with incarcerated parents in our program have reported bullying in school and they often feel isolated from their peers and are reluctant to trust in the adults in their lives.

It is our mission to increase the number of children with incarcerated parents matched with caring mentors in 2015 and we are seeking volunteers with an interest in reaching underprivileged children to help these youths find compassionate role models to inspire and uplift them.

Both national and local research confirms that children who are matched with supportive mentors are:

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

33% less likely to use violence

Mentors in our program spend 4-6 hours a month with a child in need of emotional support. Appropriate activities often include free or low-cost options such as trips to the park, walks on the bike path, homework assistance, watching movies, playing sports, cooking or even inviting the child to visit your office to learn more about potential careers. Mentors can be adults of all ages and there are no income expectations for mentors.

We encourage you to consider becoming a mentor to a child with an incarcerated parent. Just a few hours a month is all that is required to help show a child their potential for a bright and healthy future. For more information, please call 740-797-0037 or email


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