Celebrating Our Guardians This Father’s Day


Celebrating Our Guardians This Father’s Day

by Sarah Adams
Posted June 15, 2024

With so many exceptional guardians of mentees in our programs, we celebrate those that trust caring adult role models outside of the home to mentor their children. As the leading one-to-one youth mentoring program in Massachusetts, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts (BBBSEM) helps youth to reach their fullest potential while giving guardians the reassurance that others have their children’s and grandchildren’s backs.

Growing up with 10 siblings, Paul Nelson learned the importance of mentorship early on from his brothers and sisters, who taught him valuable lessons and guided him in the right direction. Today, Nelson and his husband carry that same support to their two adopted children, Anthony, 12, and Amiah, 11. The brother-sister duo are matched with mentors from BBBSEM, allowing each child to have a trustworthy, consistent adult from outside of the home to support them.

“We’re constantly learning as parents,” says Nelson, who adopted Anthony and Amiah, who are mixed race, when they were 3 and 2 years old respectively. “Our kids had a different life than we did, and they have different hair than I have. It was important for us to have caring role models for our kids that listen to them and celebrate diversity. Especially for our daughter, who has two dads, having a consistent female adult in her life has helped her build confidence and empathy. For my son, he’s now become a mentor to younger kids. Both are more social and more accepting of adults since being matched in the program. Mentoring has had a huge positive impact on our family.”

With research and proven outcomes at its core, BBBSEM creates Big-Little matches based on shared interests, geography and personality and serves as a consistent resource for Bigs, Littles and their families. The organization fosters connections between communities and community partners, helping to address larger social issues, such as race and education gaps.

In 2024, BBBSEM celebrates 75 years of service across the region. Throughout its seven decades, the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in New England has created and served more than 25,000 youth. For more information, to become a volunteer or to register your children, visit: www.emassbigs.org.

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