Like I said I would in my last post on mentorship, I investigated the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Orlando. It seems fairly easy to get into. You have to be at least age 21, fill out a 9 page application and be a solid citizen. They do all kinds of background and reference checks and the fellow I talked to on the phone stated they would visit my house (uh oh put away the beer pong table). On the app, there’s a 15 question questionnaire (example: have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?) and a section where you fill out activities you like/do, things like playing sports and arts and crafts and stuff. From there, I assume, the BBBS folks check you out and eventually match you up with a youth that’s a good fit.
Here’s the tricky part. The commitment is 2 hours every 2 weeks, for an entire year. That’s 4 hours per month spent with your little. You MUST commit to being a mentor for at least year. At first blush that doesn’t seem so bad, but I’m busy and we’re all busy and who can commit to a two hour time slot every fortnight for a year? That means you shouldn’t be moving around or be a flaky mf’er if you’re mentoring an at-risk youth. No one really has the time and resources to do this, but everyone probably should and it’s a good for your soul.
There’s a massive need for male mentors especially, with an average waiting list of 75 boys who needs Bigs. That’s just in my community. Some boys have been on the list for three years.
So I guess it’s put up or shut up. If I get into this I’ll blog about it a bit.