September | 2020

A very BIG thanks to our friend and well known artist Marijane Hebert for conducting a group painting session and for sponsoring the supplies for our Bigs and Littles. Painting is a fun and interactive way to relieve stress and expand and cultivate creative and emotional growth. While providing a creative outlet for our matches, every mentor and mentee had a great time and showcased their artistic talent.

Schools not being totally open, CBBBS uses distance methods and when face-to-face mentoring is possible again, we are committed to provide the additional support needed to ensure these relationships stay strong during these uncertain times.

The talent was beaming through the screens for this session, we couldn’t be more proud with the final paintings. All were inspired. Many thanks Marijane and we look forward to the nest session.

-Ken Martinet Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, CEO/President

August | 2020

Thanks to your support, we have been able to pivot our services and even improve the mission of helping our youth to find their way in these very challenging times. Though their lives are getting harder to navigate because many live in confined conditions with little access to resources, having an adult mentor is a blessing many parents/guardians have said. We are still able to screen, train, orient adult volunteers and match them to a waiting youth in need of a role model today. In fact, because of the social awareness of giving back and wanting to help to bring equity to underserved youth, our number of volunteer inquiries has increased – especially our much-needed male volunteers.

Another dimension is that our Professional staff has taken up the challenge to provide even more resources to the Big/Little pairs because they can’t meet with each other for now. They are sending referrals for food, supplies and community resources to families. They are organizing creative ZOOM activities that are educational and recreational for the mentoring matches to continue their relationship  development during this social distant time. Our work has pivoted from encouraging potential to adding a source of survival.

In several Newsletters our staff has produced, there is pertinent information helping graduates to transition to college. Advice about virtual learning, searching for financial aid, registration and orientation has been sent to our youth. Likewise, advice for transitioning High School students regarding college and career planning, lists and virtual college tour sources, comparisons of costs and academic ratings, steps for applying, writing personal statements, test preparation, and choosing a future path are provided to our matches to review and follow through newsletters and personal advice. Encouragement is given to younger students to do well in school, consider their interests and choose courses and actions wisely, meet teachers and get involved in extra-curricular activities.

Working in partnership and augmenting the activities of our volunteer mentors, our staff is adding to the virtual experience of our youth. In one case a graduating Little Sister has been able to enter college – the first in her family – with the caring advice of her CBBBS staff consultant. In many cases the staff is taking up the role of the volunteer due to the “distancing” protocols. The bottom line is that we are productively continuing our mission and we need your help more than ever to support our work and provide enhanced virtual activities.

– Ken Martinet, Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO/President