Mentoring now by bunch

New program at Big Brothers and Sisters looks to cut down wait times for boys on list.

  • Mar. 12, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Big Brothers and Sisters of the Fraser Valley has launched a new program in hopes of reducing the lengthy wait times for boys registered in the program.

The organization has launched the Big Bunch program, in which a volunteer is grouped with three kids over a six-month term.

Mentoring coordinator Cassie Silva said it can take up to a year for boys to be paired with a volunteer.

“These boys on our wait list want a mentor so badly,“ said Silva “Whenever I see them, they eagerly ask if I have found them a Big Brother yet. They get the idea in their heads that nobody is picking them and I have to explain to them that the reality is that not many men are applying, it has nothing to do with them being passed over.”

Silva said a recent research study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto found that mentored boys are two times less likely to develop negative conducts like bullying, fighting, lying, cheating, and losing their temper, and are twice as likely to believe that school is fun and that doing well academically is important.

The boys on our wait list in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have a wide variety of interests, she said.

“Some are athletic and love sports, while others prefer doing crafts and talking about science and the paranormal or rock-hunting. But what they all have in common is that they are seeking a positive male role model to do guy stuff with, like kicking a ball around or go fishing.”

This six-month Big Bunch program is  being funded by Maple Ridge Community Foundation. There are currently seven boys and four girls on the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows wait list.

Silva said women tend to volunteer in greater numbers, so that’s why the new program is aimed at getting more men involved.

Silva said volunteer commitment for these various programs can range from once a week to once a month and there are also opportunities for teens in Grades 10 to 12 to become mentors to younger students.

Just Posted

Flames drop to eighth in PJHL

Ridge loses two games over the weekend

Man known to frequent Maple Ridge wanted by Langley RCMP

An arrest warrant is out for Bryce Telford for allegedly impersonating a police officer

New Maple Ridge council has old problem: Albion flats

Staff asking for politicians to decide direction

Thomas Haney team builds tiny house

Students spend two years building tiny house during shop class

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

Surrey Pretrial inmate lodges human rights complaint for not being fed kosher food

Inmate claims denial of her request for kosher diet violates Section 8 of the Human Rights Code

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

Most Read