Making an impact on young lives has power beyond the individual.
Read inspiring stories, and share yours.
"By helping children have access to books at home, we hope to strengthen learning and instill a life-long love of reading."
"Older workers . . . have a wealth of knowledge and experiences that we can share to make a child's journey easier."
"Giving back is so much fun and older workers have so much to give."
"Reading is power and I see how these children are empowered by it daily. It is my Christian duty to give back to society. I have chosen the children."
North Charleston, SC
"Don't just sit at home. You've got something to give back. Give it. Give it to the young people."
Los Angeles, CA
"My encore is nothing I had ever imagined I would be doing. But once you meet these kids, and get involved, you can't stay away from it."
"Anyone who helps someone else read has done something to improve the human condition."
Staten Island, NY
"It is truly a blessing to be able to inspire children, especially youngsters who are disadvantaged, to enjoy and love reading."
Los Angeles, CA
“Giving back is so much fun and older workers have so much to give.”
"I always had a burning desire to help kids who are like me -- motivated to play sports, but overlooked by my peers."
Los Angeles, CA
"We give children a new vision of their past, so they can see their future."
“I feel like the EFN fellowship was made expressly for me: It was my gateway into a new life. I found what I was meant to do: Use data to improve health care.”
“This job has changed my outlook on what’s truly important. It hits home, how you were able to make a difference in somebody’s life.”
Port Charlotte, FL
"Once I started working with kids, I realized this is what I want to do."
"What I enjoy most is being able to provide individual, practical information that helps the student stay on track." - Laura, Strive for College Mentor
"I believe that good advice at an early age can change an individual's trajectory and thus, change the world." - Kevin, founder of TurtleWise
"I make it my goal to expose young people to as many opportunities as possible, to help them find their
passion and someday make positive contributions to make our world a better place." - Diana, Boys and Girls Club Tutor
"I remember asking myself, 'What would I want my children to be doing during the summer?'"
"Children and adults need and desire compassion, time and someone to inspire them to believe in themselves." - Chandra, BGCA
"This activity provides me with the chance to reach the younger audience and connect with them in a compassionate, caring way." - Rainy, Crisis Text Line Volunteer
"Retirement can leave one feeling unfulfilled, if well-rested. Joining Experience Corps has satisfied my own need to be communally productive and purposeful."
"I don't "do" charity. I just do what I'm supposed to do."
Grand Rapids, MI
"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
San Dimas, CA
"I always seem to get more out of my volunteer activities than those that I set out to help."
Miami Shores, FL
"I play a tiny part in ensuring the next generation has a healthy foundation and a greater chance for success."
"Everyone can use a little extra help, and in my experience, the benefits -- and the pleasures -- flow both ways."
San Francisco, CA
"I am dedicated to helping traumatized children heal."
"The girls were caught in an endless cycle of teen pregnancy and illiteracy, with no role models to guide them."
"It's rewarding to see teens I've worked with gain academically and improve attendance."
St. Paul, MN
“Kids are so often told they can’t. I wanted to tell them they can.”
San Pedro, CA
"This chapter of my life is dedicated to my children, whom we adopted as infants, and children like them."
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"
"With my quilts, I educate children about the place where they live and its history."
Kansas City, KS
"I set out to convince the first-graders how important it is to eat their fruits and vegetables."
"It is my joy to see the light in a child's face when they understand."
Shaker Heights, OH
"I walk into the classroom for tutoring and the kids say, "Mr. Larry is here!"
-- Larry, Oasis Tutor
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."
"I do fundraising, hugging and some scolding. I respect and appreciate the young people deeply."
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
"In midlife, I realized I wanted to help society in another way, working with young people."
Culver City, CA
"Often, young black men are marginalized and demonized. I want to reimagine them as entrepreneurs."
"Through Strive, I mentored students online from three different states: California, Florida and Iowa."
-- Van, Strive for College Mentor
"I promise to be a caring adult in my students' lives, no matter what."
"The youth call it a temple, a safe haven, because it's so much more than a gym."
"I chose Bea as my mentor because she has more experience. She's like an encyclopedia!"
-- Eugen, Strive for College Mentee
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
"I look forward each week to coaching her on ways to develop her potential."
-- Beth, Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor
"To me, mentoring doesn't feel like a task or a burden. It's a great privilege."
-- David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR
Jamaica Plain, MA
"For the foster children, I am like their grandmother as well as a leader in the community."
"Uniting an older adult with a child to provide literacy tutoring is my calling."
"Sometimes, I am the only stable person in a foster child's life."
Tennessee Colony, TX
"Investing time in children early will ensure a brighter future for them and our community."
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
"Considering what's going on in many of our communities, what better contribution than to be personally available to a child."
St. Louis, MO
“Children tell you about their dreams and hopes, and what they want to do when they grow up.”
"Doing for others is truly part of my being and what makes me energized for life itself."
"It does take a village to raise a child. I call that act of nurturing - volunteering."
"Telling young people, 'You can do a lot, if you have a guiding hand,' encourages them to be better."
"I always talked about what schools were doing wrong. This was my chance to do something about it."
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.Share Your Story