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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Little Moments, Big Impact

Through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay youth mentoring organization, UMB students can impact the life of a child, helping him or her reach their true potential.

UMB’s own Big Sister, Bethanie Petit-Frere, is ecstatic about the program. Being a big sister herself, Petit-Frere said she recommends the experience to anyone who wants to make a difference in another life.

“The organization can cater to your interests and match you up with a respective little brother or sister whose life you can impact in unimaginable ways,” she said. “It’s about bringing a smile or laugh and showing you’re a friend. You don’t have to be perfect – just be yourself.”

Petit-Frere said that volunteering for the program is not a big commitment, and that simply getting together is enough to get started. There’s no need for special occasions or expensive activities; just a few hours every month, sharing simple things you already enjoy. Things such as shooting hoops, playing a game of basketball, sharing a pizza, taking a walk, or just hanging out and talking are a great way to spend your time together.

According to Petit-Frere, children who take part in the program come from local communities and Boston Public Schools, and are placed in either community-based mentoring or school-based mentoring programs.

Community-based mentoring involves “Bigs” and “Littles” to meet in their community to share a series of fun activities for a few hours a couple times a week.

School-based mentoring ‘siblings’ meet once a week in schools, libraries, and community centers to talk and have fun. These big brothers and sisters do not focus on tutoring, but rather friendship and guidance.

By volunteering to mentor a child, research suggests that university students are contributing to brighter futures, better schools, and stronger communities.

Independent research shows that by participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters, children are more confident in their scholastic performance, less likely to skip school, less likely to begin using illegal drugs and alcohol, and are able to get along better with their families.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest and largest non-profit youth mentoring organization in the United States. Established in 1902, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a leader in one-to-one youth service, developing positive relationships that have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of children and young adults from communities across the country.

Petit-Frere stresses that anyone can be a Big Brother or Big Sister.

“Its about bringing a smile or laugh and showing that you’re simply a friend. You don’t have to be perfect-just yourself.”

To learn more about the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, you can access their website at www.bbbsmb.org or call at (617)-542-9090.