VANCOUVER, Sept. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - As children across the province head back to school, parents turn their attention to the question of how to help a struggling child achieve success. For nearly one hundred years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a positive difference in the lives of our nation's youth by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring programs. Last year, Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland and Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver mentoring programs gave over 2,000 youth the confidence to achieve more. To highlight the impact of mentoring, the country is celebrating Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Day on September 18th and BBBS Month throughout September.
Mentoring matters because 1.2 million of Canada's children live in poverty, and research demonstrates that Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs yield positive results in mental health, employment and civic engagement, factors that can help break the cycle of poverty. Of youth who were part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters one-to-one mentoring program, 63% had post-secondary education, 80% pursued healthy lifestyles and 98% felt they make good life choices as adults among other positive outcomes.
In support of BBBS Day, BC Place, the CN Tower, and Niagara Falls will light up in the charity's distinctive colour purple on September 18th. Plus, Mayor Gregor Robertson is making it official by proclaiming September 18th Big Brothers Big Sisters Day in Vancouver.
We've also launched a #MentoringMatters social media campaign that everyone can participate in, and local agencies are hosting countless events across the country.
"Mentorship has incredible outcomes," says Brenda Gershkovitch, Executive Director of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland. "Research shows that participants in our mentorship programs have higher self-esteem, better health, stronger social networks, and are even more likely to become volunteers themselves."
"In our fast paced world, children need positive role models more than ever," says Valerie Lambert, Executive Director of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. "When our children are emotionally, socially and physically healthy, everyone in the community benefits. Having an additional caring adult in a child's life can curb issues like bullying and crime, so that children can grow into more resilient, more giving, and more compassionate adults."
Follow the #MentoringMatters social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and learn more about how you can support mentoring in your community, or become a mentor yourself, at bigsisters.bc.ca or bigbrothersvancouver.com.
ABOUT BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF CANADA
Since 1960, Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland has been enhancing the confidence, self-esteem and well-being of girls through supportive friendships with caring women. Big Sisters matches vulnerable girls between the ages of 7 and 17 with female volunteers in mentoring relationships and provides ongoing support to these matches. Big Sisters is proud to be a Community Partner of United Way of the Lower Mainland.
Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver is a registered charity and community-based organization, that has been supporting child and youth development through essential volunteer-led mentoring programs for over 50 years. Big Brothers matches vulnerable boys and girls with male and female volunteers in a wide range of one-to-one and group mentoring programs. Big Brothers proudly operates across the Lower Mainland and the Sea to Sky Corridor.
SOURCE Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
Image with caption: "Big Sister Lorane and Little Sister April fishing. (CNW Group/Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160908_C5933_PHOTO_EN_769083.jpg
For further information: Media Inquiries and requests to interview the charities and/or a Big and Little Brother or Sister match: Stephanie Hall, Marketing and Communications Manager, Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland, [email protected], 604-873-4525 ext 306; Kristie Yung, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, [email protected], 778.807.9908