Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts Launches Stonehill College Campus-Based Program College Students Mentor Youth from Brockton Housing Authority, New Heights Charter School and the Brockton Boys & Girls Club
BOSTON –Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts (BBBSEM), the state’s leading one-to-one youth mentoring organization, has launched a new campus-based program with Stonehill College. Undergraduates are now meeting with youth from Brockton Housing Authority, New Heights Charter School and the Brockton Boys & Girls Club, giving them critical academic, social and emotional support as well as what is often their first opportunity to explore campus life.
“Exposure to college and college campuses at a young age is so important. Our program at Stonehill is creating thru lines from Stonehill to the youth of Brockton and in doing so is creating space for young people to explore a college campus, interact with college students, and have fun all at the same time. This type of access shows young people that college is a place for them and helps them to envision themselves there. It also inspires the students of Stonehill to think about how they can continue to build bridges for the youth around them and engage with their communities on a deeper level. It is really a great opportunity for everyone involved,” says Jazzmyn Rodrigues, DEI Engagement Manager at BBBSEM. “I’m excited to continue to watch BBBSEM’s programs in Brockton grow, including the Stonehill program, and to introduce more access and mentorship opportunities to the young people in the city.”
Stonehill College is one of over a dozen BBBSEM’s college partners across the region. Mentees, referred to as Littles, are transported from neighboring community organizations twice per month on Saturdays to the school where they meet with their mentors, referred to as Bigs, both one-on-one and in group activities. Five students and five youth from neighboring community organizations were part of the inaugural cohort of mentoring matches for the Stonehill College campus-based program. By the fall semester, 10 additional mentoring pairs will be made.
“We are so excited to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a way to transform the minds and hearts of our students while sharing light and hope in their connections with their Littles!” says Brittany Joy Lorgeree, Campus Minister for Community Engagement at Stonehill College.
With research and proven outcomes at its core, BBBSEM creates matches based on shared interests, geography and personality and serves as a consistent resource for Bigs, Littles and their families. The organization serves as a bridge between communities and community partners, helping to address larger social issues, such as race and education gaps. Volunteers for the program often report getting as much or more from their mentoring relationships as their Littles do.
Anyone can become a Big as the agency welcomes youth and adults of all races, ethnicities, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older and be able to commit a few hours a few times a month for at least a year and have a passion for positively impacting a young person’s life.
In its 70th year, BBBSEM has created and served more than 20,000 matches. The nonprofit is now enrolling and matching Littles and Bigs. For more information, to register your children or to become a volunteer, visit: www.emassbigs.org.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts is an innovative, energetic organization that is making a real difference in the lives of nearly 3,000 youth annually by providing them with an invested, caring adult mentor in long-term, professionally supported relationships. With research and proven outcomes at its core, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts is working to defend the potential of children facing adversity and ensure every child has the support from caring adults that they need for healthy development and success in life. The organization’s vision is to inspire, engage and transform communities in Eastern Massachusetts by helping youth achieve their full potential, contributing to healthier families, better schools, more confident futures and stronger communities. Throughout its 70 years, the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in New England has created and served more than 20,000 matches. For more information about the agency and its mission, visit www.emassbigs.org.
About Stonehill College
Nationally ranked Stonehill College is located between Boston and Providence. It offers more than 100 majors and minors in which students not only benefit from a strong academic foundation but also from a wide array of research and internship experiences on campus, in nearby metropolitan areas, and around the world. A Catholic college founded in 1948 by the Congregation of Holy Cross, Stonehill guides students in the development of leadership skills and fosters in them the desire to create a more just society. It strives to empower all students to challenge and support one another and to embrace our human solidarity, which we understand as essential to inclusivity.