Colorado kids are benefitting from community mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado unveils its newest innovative approach

Have you ever thought of yourself as a mentor? Many of the mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado program didn’t initially but are now changing the lives of Colorado children. By simply being a consistent, trusted friend, Denver’s community is making an impact on a child beyond anything they had ever imagined.

The largest need for mentors at the present time is for the agency’s mentor2.0 program. Mentor2.0 is the newest offering to the array of Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. The professionally supported, technology-enriched one-to-one mentoring program engages high school students in the classroom and via an online platform in an entirely new way. 

In 2015, the entire 93-student freshman class at Sheridan High School was matched with a college-educated mentor. These mentoring relationships will be maintained through high school graduation with the goal of graduating on time with a well thought out post-secondary plan.

The national average of high school guidance counselors to students is 1 to 475.  The mentor 2.0 program allows for each student to have a mentor to work with them for the next four years. This opportunity is priceless to these students and to teachers alike. 

To help mentor2.0 grow and expand over the first two years, Bank of America named Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado as its Colorado Neighborhood Builder partner. Not only has the bank contributed in a big financial way, but their employees are also getting involved.

“This is my first experience as a mentor, and the experience has been so much more than I thought it would be,” said Michael Heringslack, mentor and Bank of America employee. 

Mentors and mentees meet on a monthly basis during the school year and then communicate via the online platform on a weekly basis. This allows for our business community to make time in their busy schedules.

“The mentor2.0 program is designed in a way where it is not overwhelming,” said Mike Rooks, mentor and Senior Vice President for Jones Lang LaSalle. “I’ve been able to manage my commitment to communicate with my mentee and actually look forward to the correspondence and meetings.  I feel like I am getting much more from the program than I am contributing.”

This fall, there will be 120 incoming freshmen at Sheridan looking for mentors, and at the present time the greatest need is male mentors. To learn more about the program or to enroll as a mentor click here.

Categories: Community News