High School Clubs Making a Difference

Student mentors in the High School Bigs program share a special commitment to their Littles that extends well beyond their weekly sessions together.

In addition to mentoring local elementary students, many students in the program also contribute as members of their on-campus High School Bigs club.

These clubs meet at least once a month to provide support to matches, recruit new Bigs and develop fundraisers to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Nearly two dozen clubs are currently active at high schools throughout Orange County.

“One of the coolest things about the clubs is seeing students taking ownership in Big Brothers Big Sisters mission, vision and purpose and watching them individualize the value of being a mentor to their peers,” says Kimberly Jackson, senior site-based enrollment and recruitment specialist. “These club leaders help us empower high school youth to say ‘yes’ to our ‘why.'”

 

Here, Amber Sun, president of Oxford Academy’s High School Bigs club, discusses her club’s success and its impact on their matches.

 

What do you attribute to your club’s success over the past two years?

We initially had just a handful of people when we launched in 2016 but we’ve grown to around 20 members. Everyone in this club truly loves their Littles. No one is being forced to show up to our meetings. They keep coming because they care about this program and know the impact that we are having on the lives of these kids.

 

How would you describe a typical club meeting?

We usually talk about fundraisers and then come up with creative ways to show our Littles how much we appreciate them. Lately, we’ve been making goodie bags that we bring with us to site. It’s these little acts of gratitude that make High School Bigs such a fun and unique program.

 

What kind of impact has your club made through its fundraisers?

We’ve raised between $500 to $600. The early fundraisers we hosted were definitely a learning experience for all of us. Now we know what works, and what doesn’t. This year, we have three fundraising coordinators dedicated to creating and overseeing the financial side of the club.

We are currently working on our two big fundraisers selling sugar canes and Pura Vida bracelets. The goal is to use the money to buy new notebooks and class supplies for all three schools our club members mentor at. Any leftover money will be used for future fundraising campaigns.

In the past, we’ve done Boba fundraisers which were very popular with our student body.

 

What has been your favorite memory as a Big Sister in the program?

I’ve enjoyed watching my Little Sister, Ambriele, improve her math skills. When we first met, I would have to make her do some additional basic math problems to enhance her knowledge of the subject. These days, she’s asking me for more advanced questions and no longer relying on using her fingers to solve equations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fwp_boxed=”0″ fwp_offset=”0″ css=”.vc_custom_1537250609838{background-color: #e1e1e1 !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text][fwp-anim-text extra_class=””]

 

About High School Bigs

In this one-to-one peer mentoring program, teens in grades 9 through 12 serve as mentors to an elementary school student. Meetings take place once a week at the child’s school. The program is facilitated by a Big Brothers Big Sisters team member and has a curriculum designed specifically for peer-to-peer mentoring. Topics include academic achievement, bullying, self esteem and relationship building blocks.

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