Civic Center Stage: Big Brother Big Sisters

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Jessica Peine 7/27/2017 8:42

Host Company: Levementum

Orr Fellows are well-known for their commitment to the city of Indianapolis in many ways. One of the most impressive is their commitment to civic engagement and volunteering in the city.  Launchpad, for example, was started by Orr Fellows to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit in the city’s 8th graders and impacted over 200 students this Spring.

In addition to the collective effort of Launchpad, Orr Fellows also volunteer individually in many Indianapolis organizations like the Humane Society, and local Lunch Buddy programs. One of Orr’s strongest connections, however, is with the Big Brother and Big Sisters of Central Indiana.

Each year Big Brothers and Big Sisters visits the Orr Fellowship and shares inspiring stories of how mentors have shaped and, in many cases, heavily influenced the trajectory of Indy’s youth. If you are not familiar, the organization pairs individuals in the community (“Bigs”) with children and teenagers (“Littles”) between the ages of 8 and 18 who are facing adversity. These Big-Little pairs meet up at least once a month to build a strong and enduring positive relationship to change both lives for the better. The hope is that these relationships will foster strong mentor relationships, stronger communities and better understanding of Indianapolis’ needs.

This week, Orr Fellow Adam Folta shared with me his BBBS experiences. Adam has only been involved with BBBS for about three months, but he still had plenty to discuss! Here is what he had to say:

Q: Tell us a bit about your experience so far with BBBS?

A: I’ve been involved with BBBS for about three months mentoring a nine year old little. My experience has been fun and rewarding. Unfortunately, my little brother recently moved out of state with his mom, but it was a privilege to get to know him. My little was always playful, funny, and smart, which made my mood lighter.

Q: What is your favorite thing you’ve done with your Little?

A: My favorite day with my Little consisted of chicken wings and guava juice at Oso’s republic, a visit to the Central Library and sitting on the steps of the American Legion mall as we read his book about Kobe Bryant.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being involved with BBBS?

A: The most rewarding part of BBBS was learning from my Little. My little brother went to a Christian elementary school, so I would ask him about religion and his beliefs about the world. It was refreshing and eye-opening to hear how fresh and forward-looking his perspective was.  

Q: What is your biggest wish for your Little?

A: My biggest wish for my little brother is that he maintains a playful and loving spirit as he starts a new chapter in his life in a new state. Moving is always hard, but thankfully he is moving closer to extended family. I hope that he continues to enjoy school and stays active on the basketball court. While it is sad to say goodbye to a little brother, I’m fortunate that our relationship ended on a good note. A few days ago I was excited to be paired with a new little brother. As one door closes, another opens, and the opportunities for our relationship are endless.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is always looking for new mentors, so visit their website for more information or to sign up!

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