Did you know that youth who have mentors are statistically more likely to excel than those who do not? That’s what our programs are all about, providing the best possible outcome for the children in our communities.

Unfortunately, demand exceeds supply. We have over 1500 children currently waiting to be matched with a mentor. Over 800 of those are boys waiting for a male role model. It seems an almost insurmountable number. On a daily basis we ask ourselves, how can we provide the support our kids need?

Thankfully, one of our largest supporters, Stantec, has risen to the challenge. Stantec has been our longest corporate mentoring partner. Corporate Mentoring is a unique program in which a corporation teams up with Big Brother Big Sisters for one-on-one mentoring. The children and employees meet together for an hour each week at the work site. Not only does the 1:1 relationship benefit the youth, but it also shows them that a corporate setting is possible for their futures! Stantec has been partnering with us on this for close to 10 years, so we reached out to them, to learn why they are so motivated to invest in our community.

Nadine, an employee at Stantec, shared with us her thoughts on corporate mentoring:

“I had the pleasure of working with a boy who was autistic and during that experience, I found we learned a lot from each other. I noticed his confidence change a bit in the two years we worked together. His social interactions were starting to improve and he was making friends. He was starting to learn to focus on the tasks at hand. When we left off this year I cried because he looked at me and said “you know what I learned from you Nadine, that the only failure is not trying at all.” It was a powerful message to me that our actions, words, and general support has a significant impact on the children. Our partnership with BGCBigs not only shows them what they are capable of – it keeps them motivated and positive!”

It seems the old adage is true; “the good you do comes back to you.” Thank you, Nadine, for being a part of a child’s future success.

Another employee of Stantec, Alicia, shared with us her favourite parts about being a mentor. She loves, “doing activities with the kids. Learning about them, feeling that I am contributing in their lives as a positive role model.” She even shared with us that mentoring indirectly helped her learn how to improve her relationship with her daughter. Thank you, Alicia, for being willing to invest time and attention in our kids!

Acknowledging that we were in need of male mentors, Stantec decided to think outside the box for a solution to our problem. The answer was dodgeball. Yes, that’s right, a simple game of dodgeball. While fundraising for United Way (one of our agency’s partners), Stantec also used the event as a way to recruit employees for the corporate mentorship program. They had so much fun the first time around they decided to do it again this year, and it was a success. The event introduced a larger variety of mentors to the kids and the excitement in the air was palpable. We are so grateful that Stantec recognized our need for male mentors and is actively supporting our kids by thinking of unconventional and creative solutions to this problem.

Stantec is our longest running corporate mentoring partnership. For almost 10 years they have provided mentorship for our little brothers and sisters. One hour a week, for 10 years… that impact is enormous. Thank you, Stantec, for supporting our children every step of the way.

Written by one of our amazing volunteers, Attena Hill.

 

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