Volunteers needed at Scottsdale Big Brothers Big Sisters sites

It’s back to school time and that means that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona will be resuming its lunch time and afternoon mentoring programs at eight sites across the Valley including Pueblo Elementary and Paiute Neighborhood Center in Scottsdale.

BBBSAZ is actively recruiting community members who live or work near these sites to give two to four hours a month and be volunteer mentors. In order to continue these programs through the school year, BBBSAZ needs to recruit at least 15 volunteers for each site to be Bigs, according to a press release.

Each student at the site (“Little”) is matched one-to-one with a volunteer mentor (“Big”) who meets with him or her at the school at least two times per month.

Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona sites, including two in Scottsdale need volunteers. (submitted photo)

They participate in structured activities with other matches that focus on helping the child build self-confidence and take their first steps on the path to success. Each site and match is professionally managed by a trained program specialist who works with the volunteer, child, school personnel and the child’s family to make sure the match is successful.

“Being a Big Brother or Big Sister at one of our sites is an easy way to experience the power of being in a mentoring relationship, and really make a difference in a child’s life,” said Susan Wiltfong, vice president of programs at BBBSAZ, in the press release. “It’s a great way for volunteers to give back and meet others who give their time to help kids in our community.”

The Littles enrolled in the site-based programs are ages 6 to 13, and are referred by teachers, counselors and administrators who feel that the student could benefit by having a consistent, positive role model. Students enrolled in the program often report that they have a more positive attitude toward school and academics because they they look forward to meeting with their mentor, the press release stated.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and commit to meeting with their Little through the school year. The volunteer onboarding process includes an online application, interview, training, and a background check.

The Pueblo Elementary School site meets on Tuesdays at lunch; and the Paiute Neighborhood Center meets on Thursday afternoons.

Volunteers who would like to be a Big Brother or Big Sister should visit www.bbbsaz.org/volunteer or call 602-264-9254.

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