City honors Big Brothers Big Sisters during National Mentoring Month

City honors Big Brothers Big Sisters during National Mentoring Month
January 21
00:00 2016
Photos by Tevin Stinson
Mayor Allen Joines presents the president of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Shawan Gabriel with a proclamation marking January 15 as Mentor Day in Winston-Salem last Friday at the Milton Rhodes Center.

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle 

January 15 was officially Mentoring Day here in Winston-Salem.

As part of National Mentoring Month, during an event held at the Milton Rhodes Center last Friday, Mayor Allen Joines presented the local Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) with a proclamation marking the day and honoring the organization for their hard work and dedication.

For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inside every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. By locally partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (Littles) with screened volunteer mentors (Bigs) and monitors and supports them in one-to-one mentoring matches. Mayor Joines said he was excited to present BBBS with the proclamation because he has always been a supporter of the organization and the work they do.

“The mentoring aspect of this provides tremendous benefits for our community,” he said. “From the increasing graduation rate, lowering the crime rates, and just being a more successful person moving forward.”

President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Shawan Gabriel said he is proud that the organization will have its own day to celebrate the hundreds of mentors who dedicate their free time improving the lives of the many children in the area.

“Mentoring is powerful, and can help change the directions of a child’s life,” he continued. “Mentoring is linked to improved academic, social and economic prospects for your people, and that ultimately strengthens our community.”

Although BBBS is designed to improve the lives of the “Littles” a number of “Bigs” mentioned the program has been life changing for them as well. Murray Miller who has been volunteering with BBBS since 2012 said participating in the program has made him a better person.

“Once you see the impact you have on the lives of the kids, you see why this program is so important,” said Miller. “Some of the most prominent people in the nation had mentors.”

According to program officials, although BBBS continues to grow there is still a need for more male mentors. Gabriel mentioned the matching process for young boys takes months and sometimes years.

“We need more male role models for the young boys in this area,” said Gabriel. “If you have been thinking about joining the organization, just take a chance. I guarantee it will be life changing.”

To get involved and learn more about becoming a mentor, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters at 336-724-7993 or email 


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