Big Brothers Big Sisters Brings Mentoring to Rialto
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire recently launched its peer-to-peer youth mentoring program in the city of Rialto. A $110K grant from Marathon Petroleum Corp. will enable the agency to serve an additional 100 youth through High School Bigs programs at Kelley, Preston and Casey elementary schools.
Teen volunteers from Rialto and Eisenhower high schools will mentor students at the three new sites in weekly, one-hour sessions led by a Big Brothers Big Sisters program specialist. The grant also funds the incorporation of 15 STEM-related activities into the curriculum over the course of the academic year.
“Our presence in Rialto will strengthen our ability to fulfill a critical need for positive youth mentorship,” said Jennifer O’Farrell, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire.
Funding from the grant for High School Bigs will expose more local students to STEM-related careers through fun, hands-on experiences alongside their mentors. High school volunteers and elementary students alike will also benefit from enhanced essential life skills such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire currently serves more than 1,000 youth in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including students at 19 High School Bigs sites.
“The impact of having a mentoring program like Big Brothers Big Sisters in our community is invaluable,” said Mayor of Rialto Deborah Robertson. “It will not only give our local youth a positive role model to look up to, but also make it possible for them to create positive generational change for their families.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters believes that with the support of a caring mentor, every child has the ability to achieve his or her full potential. It is the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring organization, serving a quarter-million children annually. Based in Santa Ana, the Orange County agency was incorporated in 1958 and works as a local extension of the national effort to make professionally supported, one-to-one matches between mentors (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”) facing adversity. Together with the Inland Empire agency, which opened its doors in 2013, the local organization annually serves more than 3,500 children through programs that improve the odds of youth performing better in school and avoiding violence and illegal activities. For more information visit iebigs.org