How I Became a Big Brother

BY: Shannon Thomas By Shannon Thomas, Contributing Writer - January 30, 2013.
last updated 01/30/2013
How I Became a Big Brother

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami Valley was formed in 1958 and is now the largest mentoring organization in Greater Dayton.

How I Became a Big Brother

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley was formed in 1958 and is now the largest mentoring organization in Greater Dayton. They are 1 of 370 affiliates of Big Brothers Big Sisters nationwide and help children better themselves in academics as well as make healthier lifestyle choices by providing a 1 on 1 mentoring relationship. They offer 2 different volunteer programs; a community based program where the matches can go out on excursions to various events, places, and activities in the community. The other program is school-based mentoring where the matches meet up to work on academics.

In September of 2011, I decided to join the BBBSGMV because I wanted to make a positive impact on someone who maybe didn't have a positive role model in their life. I first applied online through their website,  In about a week, I got a call from a representative to set up a meeting to begin enrollment. During the interview, the representative goes over what to expect from the program, the rules, what your expectations are, and any questions or issues that you need addressed. Fairly soon, I was contacted by my Match Specialist, Shayla, with the exciting news that they had found me a little brother!

Shannon & Quentin - BBBSHis name is Quentin and he was 12 years old at the time. His older sister had been involved with the program for quite a while and he had been anxiously awaiting a big brother for well over a year. We quickly arranged to meet up with Shayla to get to know each other a little and plan our first outing. Since we've been matched, we've been to Kings Island, played basketball in the park, been hiking together at different Nature Preserves a few times, bowling, gone out to eat, and recently attended the Monster Truck show at Hara Arena. Over that time, we've gotten to know each other pretty well, and with each outing, you can feel that trust and bond growing stronger.

Lauren & Janae - BBBS

It's only been 4 months since we were matched and already I think of him as a little brother, and not someone who I happened to be matched with. There's bound to be rocky starts but now I've been told he's doing better in school, getting more involved in sports, and I see him getting excited about doing more things together. We talk a lot about what's going on in each of our lives, what his future plans are, and all the fun activities we're gonna do this spring and summer when the weather gets warm. It's been a great experience thus far and I feel I've gotten just as much out of this program as he has.

There are several "Littles," ages anywhere from 6 to 18 years of age, still waiting for a "Big" to come along and be matched with. Big Brothers Big Sisters develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. They help children who need and want positive role models in their life.  Some are growing up in poverty, some are coping with difficult family circumstances like parental incarceration. If you're interested in learning more, volunteering, or would like to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami Valley, I suggest visiting their website where you can find unlimited amounts of information and success stories.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami Valley.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami Valley - We create and support 1-to-1 mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth across the Miami Valley.

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