Story last updated at 2/5/2014 - 5:13 pm
This January is National Mentoring Month and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska urges all Alaskans to acknowledge the impact and influence their mentors have had on their life. BBBSAK is the only professionally supported mentoring organization in Alaska, matching youth that need a little extra time and attention with a caring adult role model. Pairing a child with a mentor helps to ensure that child will develop the tools he or she needs to grow and succeed. Youth that have been matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister will have better and brighter futures. These young people will be more likely to graduate on time, avoid risky behaviors that can lead to substance abuse and delinquency, and are more likely to give back to their communities in leadership positions as adults.
Wells Fargo is partnering with BBBSAK to increase our ability to reach more children and provide them with a mentor that will change their lives for the better, forever. Each "match" costs approximately $2,500 to make and support for one year. BBBSAK is offering businesses throughout the state the opportunity to support or "adopt" the cost of one life-changing match at $2,500 through the Adopt-a-Match program. This program was originally piloted by MAC Federal Credit Union in Fairbanks. Wells Fargo understands the importance of mentoring and wants to help expand this program statewide, so they have issued the "Wells Fargo Adopt-a-Match Challenge" to the business community of Alaska. Wells Fargo will match dollar for dollar each of the first 10 businesses that adopt a match, for a total of $25,000. This generous gift, along with the support of the business community of Alaska will help us make 20 matches throughout the state.
Wells Fargo has many team members involved as Big Brothers or Big Sisters. Juneau Business Banking Manager Karen West shared her experience with the program.
"I became interested in Big Brothers, Big Sisters after teaching Sunday School 12 years ago. I realized how important it is to have good role models and mentors to help young girls build their self-esteem. I was especially taken with one little girl from a single parent household," West said.
"Later that year, a representative from Big Brothers, Big Sisters talked to our Rotary Club about the benefits of being a 'Big.' I was inspired and started the paperwork the next day. I was overjoyed and surprised that I was matched with the same little girl from my Sunday School class!
We maintained our relationship all the way through high school graduation. Big Brothers, Big Sisters has been a big part of my life, and truly is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done," she continued.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska matches children facing adversity with a caring adult mentor. Currently BBBSAK serves over 1,000 children in communities across Alaska through its community and school based programs, and through initiatives like the Military Mentoring Initiative, and the Alaska Native Mentoring Initiative. Our proven method of mentoring contributes to better schools, brighter futures and stronger communities by keeping youth in school, improving their academic success, and decreasing their likelihood of making bad choices.
National and local statistics show that Big Brothers Big Sisters' professionally supported mentoring programs positively impact children, and ultimately, their schools and communities. That's why Guidestar's Philanthropedia named Big Brothers Big Sisters the No. 1 Nonprofit for At-Risk Youth. Children who are mentored are more likely to improve in school and in their relationships with family and peers, and less likely to skip school or use illegal drugs or alcohol. Students who are successful in school are less likely to drop out, become pregnant, abuse drugs or alcohol, or become involved in criminal activity.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank's customers who conduct business worldwide.