BW Students Join Up With Big Brothers Big Sisters

Drew Boxler, Contributing Writer

Are you looking to become more involved on campus, but unsure of where to turn next? Are mentorship and leadership some of your beloved qualities? Well, look no further than the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Run by Julie Bishop, the Assistant Director of Community Outreach, and coordinated by junior John Kuder and senior Michael Ricci, the program focuses on the pairing of Baldwin Wallace students with young students from Marion Sterling Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters, however, is not unique to the BW campus. This national organization works with schools and Universities all over the nation, specializing in community and site pairings. Community-pairing organizations consist of flexible, one-on-one time between a Big and Little.
Site-Pairing Organizations, like the one here at BW, transport the Bigs or Littles to a predetermined site where the pairs meet together.
BW’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters program pairs meet regularly on Mondays at Marion Sterling from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. Currently, there are ten BW students assigned with a Marion Sterling student whom they call their “littles.”
Each Monday, the group of BW students, or “Bigs” as they are called in the program, travel to Marion Sterling and meet with the children they are matched with, often forming close bonds.
“These are children that, in some way, shape or form, need a mentor in their life,” Kuder said.Meeting with the children opens up the opportunity for the Bigs and Littles to learn from each other.
Kuder recalled a time when one of his Littles, who was just in the fourth grade, taught himself difficult subjects like physics, mathematics and Spanish. At the same time, John gave his Little valuable lessons on life and provided a solid role-model for the boy.
Applications for Big Brothers/Big Sisters typically open up at the beginning of each Fall semester.
For the time being, all spots are currently filled; however, should more children be registered for the program, more spots will become available sooner.
Since children are usually referred to the program by a teacher or some other adult figure, more Bigs may be needed at any given time.
After the initial applications and submission process, which usually occurs at the beginning of the fall semester, an interview takes place.
The interview allows coordinators of the program to see the applicant’s personality to help better match the applicant with a Little. From here, if one is selected as a Big, the year-long commitment of meeting with his or her Little begins.
Though the initial Big spots have been filled for this year, positions may become available throught the remainder of the fall and spring.
For more information on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program at BW, visit the Office of Community Outreach page at http://www.bw.edu/stulife/oco/programs/bbbs/. To be added to the waiting list to become a “Big” email Michael Ricci at at mricci11@mail.bw.edu or John Kuder at jkuder12@mail.bw.edu