College-Educated Men Needed for High School Mentor2.0 Program

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties (BBBS) currently has an urgent need for male mentors with an associate degree, or higher, who would like to be matched with high school students taking part in the BBBS Mentor2.0 program. The program provides students with the leadership, career, and social skills needed to graduate high school college ready.

According to BBBS officials, nationally, 66 percent of youth on the waiting list for Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations are boys, but only 36 percent of volunteer mentors are men. The problem is even more acute locally, particularly with this program.

“Our first group of Mentor2.0 students was 83 percent male and we have two more groups of students to match,” said BBBS Director of Programs Tygh Powell.

As part of the Mentor2.0 program, mentor and mentee matches get to know each other through an innovative combination of weekly messages via a secure web-based platform and monthly group events. A BBBS staff member works with each match through the platform to manage, monitor, and evaluate the program in order to ensure success. The basic mentor requirements for the program include:

• Mentors must be at least 21 years of age and hold an associate degree or higher.

• Maintain a reliable internet connection.

• Commit to mentoring for at least one year.

• Commit to sending one weekly message on an interesting topic that Mentor2.0 provides through the platform.

• Commit to meeting your mentee once every four weeks for two hours at a Mentor2.0 facilitated event.

• Agree to only communicate and meet within the above framework, for curriculum focus and program fidelity.

“The Mentor2.0 program is perfect for those who want to volunteer and impact the community but find it difficult to do with a busy schedule,” Powell said.

“Most of us had someone in our lives, other than a parent, who made a difference to us,” said Donna Bennett, BBBS Cumberland/Salem president and CEO. “This is what you can do for a student in our program by volunteering as a mentor, showing you care, having fun with them, and listening to them talk about whatever is going on in their lives.”

If interested in helping BBBS meet their urgent need for male volunteers, contact Tygh Powell at 856-692-0916, or by e-mail at tpowell@southjerseybigs.org. To learn more about additional ways you can support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland and Salem Counties, visit southjerseybigs.org.

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