Deb Gordon’s guest was Michael Coughlin, Quality Assurance Officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBSNYC), which was founded in New York over 100 years ago by a New York county clerk to help youngsters with single parents. The organization is considered to be the founding agency of the mentoring movement.
Mr. Coughlin provided listeners with details about some of the many programs that Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City provides including special mentoring for teenage mothers and their children; mentoring for young people in foster care, and also a new immigrants program. Mr. Coughlin also discussed studies which have shown a direct correlation between kids who have been mentored getting better grades and having increased high school graduation rates, and a decrease in adverse behaviors like bullying, drug use, and delinquency. A child who is mentored by a positive adult role model, who spends time with them, talking and bonding with them, is more likely to grow up to become productive member of society.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City continues to enrich the lives of children in our area and Mr. Coughlin talked about the type of lifelong relationships that are formed which benefit not only the child, but also the adult and the community as a whole. Mr. Coughlin shared details regarding his initial experience as a mentor in college, which he described as being very rewarding and that not only positively changed the young person he was mentoring, but also positively transformed him as well.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City is always looking for mentors and especially needs male mentors. Mentors (BIGS) must commit to a one-year mentorship and spend two days a month with their mentee (Littles). Mr. Coughlin discussed some of the activities that BIGS and Littles can do together including going to the movies or to a baseball game, etc. However, he stated that BBBSNYC sponsors a few events each year that BIGS and Littles attend together including a picnic in Central Park and a 5K Run Walk in Prospect Park.
To volunteer or for more information, visit www.bigsnyc.org.
–Deb Gordon/Fresh 102.7
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