Stories

Making an impact on young lives has power beyond the individual.

Read inspiring stories, and share yours.

“Kids are so often told they can’t. I wanted to tell them they can.”

Rob Laymon

San Pedro, CA

"This chapter of my life is dedicated to my children, whom we adopted as infants, and children like them."

Adam Pertman

Newton, MA

When Dawn's sons moved out and that “empty nest” feeling crept in, she volunteered as a Big Sister -- and asked for a Little Brother. -- Dawn, BBBS Big Sister, Owatonna, MN

Big Sister Dawn and Little Brother Philip

"With my quilts, I educate children about the place where they live and its history."

Nedra Bonds

Kansas City, KS

"I set out to convince the first-graders how important it is to eat their fruits and vegetables."

Delaine Zody

Fresno, CA

"It is my joy to see the light in a child's face when they understand."

Calvin Leonard

Shaker Heights, OH

"I walk into the classroom for tutoring and the kids say, "Mr. Larry is here!"
-- Larry, Oasis Tutor

Larry Goering

St. Louis, MO

"It’s like I spent the first part of my career toiling away in the 'minor leagues' and now have a chance to make a huge difference in the world."

Tom Pollak

Washington, DC

"As the child of a single mom, I couldn't afford to pay for lunch at school. Now, as a mentor, I wanted to do something to help."

Kenny Thompson

Spring Branch, TX

"I play a tiny part in ensuring the next generation has a healthy foundation and a greater chance for success."

K. Marie Tyler

Hillsboro, Oregon

"I do fundraising, hugging and some scolding. I respect and appreciate the young people deeply."

Constance Caruso

Los Angeles, CA

"I'm committed to working with students who may be the first in their family to go to college."
-- Doretta, Strive for College Mentor

Doretta McGinnis

Gladwyne, PA

" I believe in the importance of play in the development of our youth."

Richard Johnstin

West Somerville, MA

"I was matched with my Little Sister when she was 8. Today she's 30 and we're still friends."
-- Bettylou, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor

Bettylou Steadman

San Dimas, CA

"I became more of an advocate for people with disabilities, particularly the children who are bullied."

Wiley Huff

Miami Shores, FL

"In midlife, I realized I wanted to help society in another way, working with young people."

Monica Granados

Culver City, CA

"Often, young black men are marginalized and demonized. I want to reimagine them as entrepreneurs."

Henry Rock II

Charlotte, NC

"Through Strive, I mentored students online from three different states: California, Florida and Iowa."
-- Van, Strive Mentor

Van Dang

Saratoga, CA

"I promise to be a caring adult in my students' lives, no matter what."

William Lah

Hibbing, MN

"The youth call it a temple, a safe haven, because it's so much more than a gym."

Harry E. Cummins III

Toledo, OH

"I chose Bea as my mentor because she has more experience. She's like an encyclopedia!"
-- Eugen, Strive for College Mentee

Bea Hartman & Eugen Cotei

El Territo, CA

"It's no secret that young men like Demetrius from single parent homes need more adults in their lives."
-- Rob, via MENTOR

Rob Talley & Demetrius Peoples

Hanover, MD

"I look forward each week to coaching her on ways to develop her potential."
-- Beth, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor

Beth Osborne

Reno, NV

"To me, mentoring doesn't feel like a task or a burden. It's a great privilege."
-- David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR

David Shapiro

Jamaica Plain, MA

"For the foster children, I am like their grandmother as well as a leader in the community."

Mary Steele

Easthampton, MA

"Uniting an older adult with a child to provide literacy tutoring is my calling."

Phil Waters

Boston, MA

"Sometimes, I am the only stable person in a foster child's life."

Char Williams

Tennessee Colony, TX

"Investing time in children early will ensure a brighter future for them and our community."

Renita Wolf

Colorado Springs, CO

"I want to help young people open their minds to the different things that make life interesting."
-- Debra, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor

Debra Wright

Nanuet, NY

"Considering what's going on in many of our communities, what better contribution than to be personally available to a child."
- Elzora, Oasis Tutor

Elzora Douglas

St. Louis, MO

“Children tell you about their dreams and hopes, and what they want to do when they grow up.”

Annette Shrager

Mesa, AZ

"Doing for others is truly part of my being and what makes me energized for life itself."

Janine Rouson

Raleigh, NC

"It does take a village to raise a child. I call that act of nurturing - volunteering."

David Porter

Portland, OR

"Telling young people, 'You can do a lot, if you have a guiding hand,' encourages them to be better."

Alexandreena Dixon

Suffern, NY

"I always talked about what schools were doing wrong. This was my chance to do something about it."

Larry Jemison

Cleveland, OH

If you've experienced the power of working with young people on projects that contribute to a better future for future generations, your first-person story can inspire others to follow your example.

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