Rolling out the red carpet for 'bigs'

Jay and Markus, BBBS
Courtesy video
Dena and Alyssa, BBBS Mountain Region
Courtesy video
Bobbie Jean and Delilah, BBBS Mountain Region
Courtesy video

Big Brothers Big Sisters had the privilege of honoring our "bigs of the year" one recent Saturday at what we called the "Red Carpet Event." We called it that for a couple of reasons. The first reason was that we wanted to give something back to our volunteers. Without them, we couldn't have a mentoring program. We honored four individuals who have given their time and commitment to a young person and have been there for them consistently for at least a couple of years and, in some cases, more. Our "bigs of the year" for 2017 are:

• Michelle Roaque, school-based "big sister," matched since 2015 (Taos).

• Jay Wood, community-based "big brother," matched since 2015 (Taos).

• Mary "Rusty" Primas, community-based "big sister," matched since 2014 (Taos).

• Bobbie Jean Holub, community-based "big sister," matched since 2015 (Colfax).

I just want to congratulate them again and express my deepest appreciation for their dedication to our young people!

The second reason we coined the event "Red Carpet" was because we premiered three videos that Big Brothers Big Sisters produced this summer in collaboration with True Kids1. These videos highlighted three mentoring relationships in Taos and Colfax counties. This project was a win-win for us. What could be better than collaborating with an organization that empowers youth through hands-on production of radio and videos that also benefit other youth in our community?

One of the very special moments of the evening was when the mentors in the program and even in the audience shared the impact that mentoring has had on their lives.

Rachel G. Baldino, a licensed clinical social worker, summarizes this effect.

She says, "Some of the specific benefits for mentors that researchers have discovered include the following:

• "An improved sense of health and well-being.

• "An enhanced self-image and sense of self-worth.

• "A sense of feeling valued and appreciated.

• "A sense of feeling competent and accomplished.

• "A sense of spiritual fulfillment.

• "A feeling of having gained deeper insights into one's own childhood experiences.

• "A deeper understanding of and appreciation for one's own children.

• "A sense of satisfaction from 'giving back to the community.'

• "A sense of feeling needed.

• "A feeling of being respected by others for contributing to society in a very important way.

"The research also indicates that adults who mentor youths often learn how to make sense of and come to grips with their own experiences as a young person. That is, the mentoring relationship helps them to revisit how they felt and how they coped with their own youthful challenges."

You can hear these stories yourself by visiting our Facebook page, "Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region Taos / Colfax."

Mentors are needed. Children are waiting. Call (575) 779-0003 to sign up.