Deciding to enroll your child in our Community-Based Mentoring program is a significant step, one that carries importance for both the child and their parent or guardian. In this Big Blog post, we're excited to introduce you to Tshara, whose son has been matched with his Big Brother for over a year. Tshara generously shares her experience, shedding light on how Amaury has thrived and benefited from having a Big Brother in his life.
Why did you decide to enroll your child?
My son is a good kid but gravitated to not-so-great influences to try to fit in with some of his peers. He was often a follower with leadership potential. We found ourselves at a point where he was listening to and following negative actions over the positive influences in his life. I did not want my son to fall so far down this path that his actions had lasting impacts on his life. It was at this point I enrolled my child into the program. I hoped we would meet someone he would feel comfortable confiding in, being himself around, and would help me reinforce positivity in his decision-making abilities.
How has Big Brothers Big Sisters impacted you personally as a parent/guardian?
As a single parent for many years, I do not get time to reset, recharge, and refocus. Life is work and kids. Since my son and his Big Brother have begun spending time together, I have had some time to myself. It’s my time to not worry about the various things that must be done. This has been extremely helpful in allowing me to take a break and regroup to handle life’s challenges. I can also communicate with my son’s Big Brother to help me reinforce the positive conversations and behaviors I teach at home.
Can you describe or talk about the impact you’ve seen in your child’s life since they joined the program and have been matched?
As my son matures, he has questions and emotions I have not experienced. He has had someone to talk to. He has been able to have conversations with his Big Brother that he might be embarrassed to have with me. He has gained social confidence. He is not so much a follower and is confident being himself.
What activities has your child enjoyed doing the most with his Big Brother?
My son and his Big Brother are both very competitive! They enjoy doing activities that challenge each other. They play sports, go to the gym, and attend local attractions.
How has the relationship between your child and their mentor evolved over time?
My son was not initially excited about being in the program. Once he met his Big Brother, he quickly realized how much they had in common and was excited to spend time with him. It’s been over a year since the two were connected. My son loves to plan outings and spend time with his Big Brother. At times, life gets busy for both sides, but we still keep in contact regularly.
How has communicating with Big Brothers Big Sisters staff been?
Communicating with the staff has been great. The program did such a great job matching my son and his Big Brother that we haven’t needed much more than the monthly check-ins. Check-ins are easy and convenient. They have been done via text, email, and phone calls. Although things have been great during our experience, I do not doubt that the staff would be attentive and helpful if we encountered issues. The staff has created a safe space for me, my child, and our Big Brother to communicate.
What would you tell other parents/guardians that are thinking of enrolling their child into the program?
Don’t hesitate! My family and I have benefitted tremendously by being involved in this program. I have formed a great relationship with my son’s Big Brother. It’s like we’ve become family.
Become a Big Brother, Big Sister, or Big Couple today at https://www.bbbsomaha.org/be-a-big/