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Consider becoming a Big Brother

Newly matched, Little Brother Kayden and Big Brother Taylor are looking forward to visiting game shops, playing board games and discovering active activities. Donated photo Newly matched, Little Brother Kayden and Big Brother Taylor are looking forward to visiting game shops, playing board games and discovering active activities. Donated photo

January is National Mentoring Month, a great start to 2024 and an opportunity to give a young person a great start in life. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina, part of the nation’s largest youth mentoring organization (BBBS of America), needs more mentors for its growing list of local children and youth who need a nudge from a caring adult outside of their families.

“National Mentoring Month provides a wonderful opportunity to think of and thank the mentors in your life and to consider becoming a mentor yourself,” said BBBSWNC Executive Vice President Jamye Davis. “Being a ‘Big’ is a rewarding way to give back to your community, support and inspire a young person, and have fun while doing it.”

More than 200 potential Little Brothers and Little Sisters in 18 mountain counties are waiting for an adult with similar interests to make a difference in their lives. BBBSWNC especially needs men — and men of color — to mentor boys who are eager to do things like hike, go for pizza and just generally hang out with an adult who is up for fun. Bigs are good listeners who often help their Littles through difficult situations.

Each of the 18 counties that BBBSWNC serves has a professional program coordinator who, working with the family, matches the child with a carefully vetted adult who shares their interests. “Bigs” are asked to show up regularly for their Littles with an attitude that helps the child explore possibilities and realize their potential.

School-based Bigs meet their Littles at school for an hour each week to work on homework, engage in an activity and have some fun. Community-based Bigs are asked to take their Little out twice a month for an engaging activity that the young person might not experience otherwise. High school students can also become Bigs for middle and elementary school kids in their communities.

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BBBSWNC is also recruiting kids to be Littles. The agency, based in Asheville, works with families to find the right fit for their kids. Bigs receive regular support from BBBS’s trained staff, many of whom are experienced in education, social work and children’s mental health. BBBSWNC plans or suggests many of the activities that matches do.

Bigs don’t have to be perfect — just dependable. Being a mentor doesn’t take a lot of time, but it makes a big difference in a child’s life.

To learn more about becoming a Big Brother or a Big Sister in the region, go to

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