Ponoka Jubilee Library Turned the Town Teal. (Photo submitted)

Ponoka Jubilee Library Turned the Town Teal. (Photo submitted)

BBBS Ponoka is putting the call out for mentors

September is Big Brothers Big Sisters month, and many local businesses are showing their support and building up their community by decorating in teal and gold for Turn the Town Teal. Turn the Town Teal celebrates our mentors and mentees, and raises awareness in our community so that we can reach our goal that every child who needs a mentor will have a mentor.

We are looking for adult mentors to volunteer with us for one hour a week in an in-school setting. We match our “bigs” with one child, and they meet at our local schools from September to June, at the same time every week.

We are also looking for teen mentors, who can earn high school credits, volunteer hours, and a scholarship on graduation. We currently have about 25 youth waiting for a mentor, and we anticipate more children will join our program in the coming months. Any child can join Big Brothers Big Sisters, as everybody can use a positive role model for support, advice, and friendship.

Our mentors and mentees play board games, build Lego, bake cookies, learn a skill together, or play hockey or other sports; it is very individual to the match, and the focus is on having fun and building a friendship.

This friendship has profound effects for our youth, with one of our teens telling us, “Having a mentor has made me more calm. Before I didn’t feel like I had anyone there for me … and I just had no one to talk to. She’s that person for me.”

Stable, caring relationships are essential for the healthy development of children. One of our mentors said, “There is no better investment we can make than in these young people … they are this community’s citizens of tomorrow.”

We are hoping to make our community “Bigger Together,” so if you are interested in mentoring, please call 403-783-3112, or email jenni.irwin@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca to get more information. Or, stop by the Ponoka Youth Centre and chat with us.

– Submitted by Jenni Irwin, Big Brothers Big Sisters program director.

Ponoka