January is National Mentoring Month and Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Ponoka is joining mentoring organizations across Canada to celebrate.
The awareness month aims to recognize the impact of volunteer mentors in the lives of young people and has the goal of recruiting, expanding and enhancing mentoring.
The activities throughout the month are all on social media using the hashtag #MentoringMonth.
Jan. 7 is “I am a Mentor Day” where mentors are encouraged to post stories on social media about how they mentor youth and celebrate that role.
Jan. 17 is International Mentoring Day and everyone who has been impacted by mentoring, either as a mentor or a mentee, is asked to post a story on social media using the hashtag.
To bring the month to a close, those who have been positively impacted by a mentor can thank them with a post on “Thank Your Mentor Day” on Jan. 29.
BBBS of Ponoka had 98 mentoring matches in 2020.
There are currently 25 children on the waiting list for a mentor in Ponoka.
“Now, more than ever, the need for mentors is great,” said Morgen Chernick, Ponoka Youth Centre program coordinator.
A mentor can do a number of activities with a youth, including crafts, games, sports, or just talking.
“In this time of social isolation, having that connection is so important.”
Mentoring continues at BBBS of Ponoka, with both in-person and virtual mentoring.
“We’re really excited that during this pandemic, we’re still able to provide mentoring,” said Chernick.
There are a number of different platforms available for virtual mentoring and support from BBBS to facilitate it.
Adjustments have been made to the program to ensure it complies with all Alberta Health Services and school division guidelines, as the safety of mentors and mentees continues to be a top priority.
Those interested in mentoring can call BBBS of Ponoka at 403-783-3112.