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Positively the Heartland: Big Recovery brings back youth mentorships after pandemic

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 08:19:38-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands prides itself on making impactful connections between young people and adult mentors. But because of the pandemic the past year, reaching mentors and mentees has been challenging.

“We’ve had a lot of people graduate, but the thing is, as we’re graduating these littles from our program, it’s been harder to get new people in," said Abiolo Kosoko, the program's director of marketing and recruitment.

Right now, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands has around 600 active matches. That's 300 less than average. But they’re focused on quality, going as far to be recognized nationally as the chapter with the most impactful and long-lasting mentorships.

“As we’re getting back and getting our vaccine, we want people to get back into that spirit of sharing with each other, not only their space but also their time and also their memories and things with them," Kosoko said.

But they still want to grow the number of these relationships. Their Big Recovery initiative has a goal of adding 204 mentors and mentees by the end of 2021.

“We just want people with life experience. We want people who are interested in giving back and want to share with the youth in the community," Kosoko said.

They’ve been working toward this goal by providing laptops when virtual mentoring was best and creating the Mentor U online program which starts mentors off in an online space.

“This is an additional effort to make mentoring a little bit more feasible and accessible," Kosoko said.

The program says through initiatives like these, they’ve slowly been able to bring matches back together in a safe way, and are starting to rev up their in-person events once again.

“We’re trying to get back to what we’re used to and just achieve more in the process," Kosoko said.

You can find out how to take part in the mentorship program by going clicking this link.

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