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A Message from our President & CEO, Jeannine Gant - November 2021


Dear Friends,


"When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible." - Brene Brown.


I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “belonging”. In conversations with youth in our community over the past two weeks, it has been a recurring theme. Not inclusion, but the more personal state of belonging. For youth it seems to mean feeling connected, safe, heard, seen and accepted as their authentic selves.


We care a lot about how youth are doing right now. How do they feel? Are they connected? Are they socially and emotionally safe? How has this past year of isolation impacted the most under-resourced youth in our communities? A recent focus group with our parents suggests that the mental health and self-esteem of their children is top of mind. America’s Promise echoes concerns around social emotional well-being for youth as well, with a survey reporting a rise in feelings of depression, unhappiness, and disconnection. Sadly, about 40 percent of youth have not been offered any type of support from an adult in school.


Big Brothers Big Sisters helps fill the isolation gap. Whether virtual or in person, our mentors show youth they matter. Our mentors create meaningful relationships by sharing power, challenging growth, helping youth achieve goals, and expanding possibilities towards belonging and happiness. Focusing on these key developmental areas for youth now, will lead to greater self acceptance, stronger relationships, better self-esteem and confidence, and better academic and employment success in the future.


Mentoring matters now more than ever. There are lots of ways for you to support Big Brothers Big Sisters through donating, volunteering and sharing our mission with others. Together we are Defenders of Potential.


Stepping Up Big for our youth,


Jeannine



 
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