Mentors Needed

Big Brothers Big Sisters searching for diverse volunteers.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – With the new branding and call of urgency of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, they are searching for diverse volunteers to help with their programs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches up mentors with children, giving them that extra person guiding them in life, someone to count on who defends their potential.

Tessa Harvey is one of the 55 children in the Rapid City area waiting for a mentor. She began her journey three years ago when she was in the school mentoring program, then the community program. But due to circumstances, her mentor had to step down. She patiently waits for a new “big sister” in the Campus Kids program, which is held every Tuesday on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus.

The problem is the number of children who want a mentor outweigh the number of volunteers.

But according to Tessa, there aren’t too many prerequisites for being a “big” – just being a good listener.

Tessa says “having a big sister is a big opportunity. I liked it because, well, I got to hang out with someone who felt like a twin to me, someone who was an actual big sister to me, someone who understood me and spoiled me. You can earn a friend; it doesn’t matter the age.”

Some say it takes a village to raise a child. That’s what these programs are all about, giving parents and teachers a little extra support to empower children and give them the confidence they need to live purposely. Those opportunities can be found in the small moments in life that often times go unnoticed.

Nicole Burdick, the executive director at Big Brother Big Sisters of the Black Hills, says, “The big moments in children’s lives are sometimes the littlest things that you can do with them, whether it be eating lunch or sitting down and having dinner or just going for a car ride – those are the moments that your kids remember.”

And if you have a little time to spare, it might be just enough to change a child’s life.

Tessa adds, “But the true and most important thing I think it is, is making sure you’re comfortable with them. And I think it was fun because I used to be able to tell her jokes that she would understand them and make sure that she would laugh.”

Click here for more information on how to volunteer.

RELATED: Big Brothers Big Sisters Rebranding

Categories: Local News