For more than a decade, Chris Bauders has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay as a mentor to James. In addition to being a Big Brother to his Little Brother, Chris also serves as a dedicated board member to help forge the agency’s strategic growth plans. Even as Sr. Vice President – Commercial Bank at Bank of America, he has always found the ability to carve out a few hours in the month to give back to the Tampa Bay community.
As a seasoned Big, Chris offers this advice to anyone considering volunteering: “Consistency is everything. Remember that most outcomes will not be immediately visible.” His mentoring relationship with James illustrates this point brilliantly. Ultimately, the collective efforts of James’ support circle and the long-term guidance from Chris resulted in James signing with St Thomas University under a football scholarship. James says of Chris, “He’s like a real brother to me. He is my brother.”
It doesn’t take much to go BIG for kids. It all starts with tossing around a football, watching a Ray game, or going bowling. As a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you are fully supported by our specialized team during your time with your Little to help with communication, goal setting, and activity planning.
Mentoring is considered a unique intervention strategy that can address multiple risk — and protective — factors at the same time. The numbers prove that young people enrolled in a formalized mentoring program show greater educational outcomes, improved interpersonal skills, and other positive benefits.
Our Go BIG with Big Brothers Big Sisters campaign aims to empower every young person in the Tampa Bay area with a plan for their future and a mentor whose impact will last a lifetime.
With a mission to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ vision is for all youth to achieve their full potential. In 2022, 99% of Littles were not involved with the juvenile justice system, 98% were promoted to the next grade level, 97% maintained or improved their educational aspirations and 94% maintained or improved in academics.
There are many ways to help shape the future of the Greater Tampa Bay area by supporting the mentoring of the next generation. Whether volunteering at a special event, signing up to be a Big, or making a donation, remember that it takes little to be big. To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay visit: www.gobigtampabay.org, or contact Chris Letsos at 813-539-4511 or via email at [email protected].
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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.