When I saw how my sister Mary positively influenced the life of her “Little Sister,” I decided to become involved in a similar capacity through the mentoring program at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami. This organization matches caring adults with youths who express interest in an adult mentor. These professionally supported mentoring relationships assist children in realizing their potential.
Long-term national studies have shown that young people involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters benefit tremendously from the program. Children in the program are nearly 50% less likely to start taking illegal drugs, and their probability of early alcohol abuse declines by 27%. Taking part in Big Brothers Big Sisters reduces children’s likelihood of skipping class by more than half, increases their confidence in their schoolwork, and helps them cultivate skills for better family relationships.
In my own experience, I was able to provide my two Little Brothers with the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and meet the President. Having spent more than six years in Big Brothers Big Sisters, I have expanded my mentoring connections with other youth in the community. Aside from weekend trips to Disney World, my Little Brothers and I have taken off to the Florida Keys for fishing trips, or spent time camping in the Everglades.
In addition to broadening life experiences for my Little Brothers, the mentoring experience has helped me to grow as a person. Mentoring has become an extremely rewarding part of my life. For more information about mentoring, as well as giving opportunities, visit www.wementor.org/
About the Author:
William Barzee specializes in criminal defense at the law firm Barzee Flores in Miami. Mr. Barzee earned his J.D. at the University of Miami School of Law. In addition to his volunteer service at Big Brothers Big Sisters, William Barzee donates to the Anti-Defamation League, the Miami-Dade Drug Court, and the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation.