Big Brothers Big Sisters changes lives

Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization that changes the lives of all involved.

"I'm a college student and sometimes I can feel isolated in my work and I wanted to do something meaningful," said Suzanne Amadi, a "big" through Big Brothers Big Sisters. "So I decided to do this, to help someone else in the community. We both can grow together."

Suzanne visits her "little" each Monday at Grace Christian Elementary. The pair spend time doing various activities, including flashcards to practice multiplication. They also have lunch together in the school's cafeteria.

"I'm just really glad to have a big sister," said Treasure Hardy, a third-grader.

National statistics prove that having a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor in their lives can positively influence children. They are 46 percent less likely to use drugs, 27 percent less likely to use alcohol, and 52 percent less likely to skip school.

"To match a big and little, I interview both of them and see what their interests are," said Angie Sides, program specialist. "I run an extensive background check on the big to make sure that they're safe for the little."

Once they're matched, the "big" commits to spending one hour per week with their "little", first at their school and then eventually transitioning to a community-based arrangement.

Mentors are needed in the Pine Belt. If you're interested in becoming one, email Angie Sides at

Or to visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Pine Belt Facebook page, click here.

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