January is National Mentoring Month and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties and the Devils Youth Foundation are partnering to bring awareness to the positive power of mentors in children’s lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties works with volunteers, parents, and families to create one-to-one mentoring relationships that defend, inspire, and empower the potential that lives within every child.

Big Travels, Little Moments

Little Sister Kelly and Big Sister Silvette recently celebrated five years of being matched in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Program. When Little Sister Kelly was enrolled, she was shy and needed someone she could confide in and express herself to as she navigated coming of age as a first-generation Latinx-American. She has found that in her Big Sister Silvette, a flight attendant who doesn’t skip a beat staying connected with her Little – calling her in between her stops around the world and sharing her international adventures.

When Big is in town, they spend their time sharing their culture, trying new foods, sharing their love for Broadway, and discussing future plans. With the support of her Big, BBBS’ staff and BBBS partners, Little who is now a high school senior is growing into a confident teenager who feels safe in expressing herself, exploring new ideas, and charting her path to college.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Spotlight

“Rutesha has helped me establish and maintain goals for myself in and out of the classroom. I am a better person because of my friendship with my Big.” – Little Sister Soleil

Rutesha began her mentoring journey with Little Sister Soleil in 2018, through one of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ workplace partnerships. During this time, Rutesha has helped Soleil achieve her goals as Soleil has come out of her shell and become involved in school clubs, and has excelled academically with her induction into the Junior Honor Society last year.

They have shared many memorable experiences together.  Some of their favorites have included: playing basketball, exploring art projects, walks along the riverfront, and celebrating Soleil’s 8th grade graduation.  As Soleil navigates through high school, she knows that Rutesha will continue to be in her corner as an advocate, guide, and sister.