Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine marks ‘Mentoring Month’

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:46 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - January is National Mentoring Month - and the folks at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine are putting out the call to reach a lofty goal.

If you’re still searching for your “New Year, New You,” BBBSMM might just have the answer.

One hundred area children across the chapter’s seven-county reach are in need of a big brother or big sister.

Staff say it just takes a couple hours once each week to make a difference in both your lives.

“One caring and compassionate adult in a child’s life can mean the difference between reaching their full potential in life and really having a harder time,” Penobscot and Waldo county program manager Elizabeth Bushnell said. “And, the cool part is that all my Bigs tell me that being a big is actually really fun!”

Take it from Hayley SooHoo and her little sister Ryder. The Waterville tandem were matched in June 2021, and they’ve done everything from cross-country skiing to art projects.

Ryder certainly has her favorite activities, though.

“Bowling,” Ryder said. “I love bowling, and also dancing. There’s this show. It’s really old, and it’s called Dance Moms, and we like to recreate Dance Moms a lot.”

Even the closest-knit brothers and sisters fight sometimes, but not this tandem.

“We never fight,” Ryder said. “She’s funny, but I’m funnier than her.”

Haley says it’s a refreshing time away from the other parts of adult life.

“Just the difference in perspective that you get from hanging out with an 8- or 9- or 10-year old and doing things that you wouldn’t normally do on your own maybe as an adult, you just get swept up in your daily life. It’s been really fun for me to sort of break out of that, and Ryder, in a great way, forces us to do that.”

“We really help get you set up with a little and give you ideas and give you the support you need and the training,” Bushnell said. “All it takes is really somebody who’s willing to put in the time.”

You can find out more by visiting bbbsmidmaine.org, or by calling 236-BBBS or emailing info@bbbsmidmaine.org.