Why We Mentor: Becoming a Big Then and Choosing to Mentor Now

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, we have an army of mentors passionate about igniting the potential in youth. We spoke with a few volunteers to learn why they became a Big, why they choose to mentor, and why they think others should mentor too.

Deciding to become a mentor

Some Bigs were looking for a way to inspire

Big Sister Shelby got involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee shortly after graduating high school. Growing up, she faced the hardest challenge imaginable. “Sadly, both my parents passed away before I was even 18. So, I worked my tail off to eventually obtain my doctorate degree and secure the career I have today, completely on my own. I was looking for a way to help others and show them that creating a successful career is more than possible, even without the support of a solid family unit.”

Big Sister Shelby & Little Sister A'ariyah
Some Bigs were looking for a way to give back

Having been significantly impacted by his mentors, Corey felt passionate about empowering a young person in the same way.

“I really wanted to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee because of the mentors I’ve had in my life. When I looked at how I was successful and what I did to help me get to where I was, a big piece of that was the mentors and the relationships I made along the way."

Some Bigs were looking for a way to invest in someone else

Big Brother Dallas learned about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee at a fundraising event. After hearing stories of young people with bright futures, he was inspired to become a mentor. “I had not had kids yet, I was newlywed and probably been overly selfish for most my life and I just saw it as an opportunity to invest in somebody other than myself,” says Dallas. He’s now been igniting the potential in his Little for ten years and counting.

Choosing mentorship every day

We mentor to be dependable

Being there for a young person can be the difference.

“So many times, our Littles just want someone to talk to. Especially with everything going on right now, it’s crucial for them to have someone they can lean on. And that’s really what I like most about being a mentor, being able to be present and dependable in her life."

We mentor to be their biggest supporter

Not all youth have access to the support they need to reach their full potential. “They need that one adult, that one grown-up that is sitting behind them and saying you can do it. I know you can do it. You’re smart,” says Big Brother Corey. He believes mentorship helps strengthen the community by building up our future leaders.

Big Sister Erika &Little Sister Antioanna
We mentor because it’s deeply impactful

A mentoring relationship not only positively affects a mentee but also enhances a mentor’s world. “I never could have guessed when I signed up to be a Big more than three years ago how deeply getting to be a mentor would impact me,” says Big Sister Cara. “I am so glad I took the risk and said yes!”

Why more people should choose to mentor

Because mentorship is so important

Big Brother Edward is a former Little who currently serves as a police officer in Davidson County. Through his work, he understands exactly how pivotal mentorship is for a young person. “Studies have shown that young men who have mentors are less likely ever to be introduced to the criminal justice system,” says Edward. “Mentorship is just so important. Having someone be there for you step by step, not just to say yes to everything but be there to guide you.”

Because you bring hope

“The biggest thing that I find value in with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee is the way that they offer hope to these young people. I think so many of the young people that they serve only have a view of what’s immediately around them. They don’t have a broader view,” says Big Brother Dallas. “In that mentoring relationship, you’re able to expose them to so many more things that help them understand what they are truly capable of becoming and what they can accomplish in this world.”

Because you are uniquely you

Youth from all different backgrounds need a mentor. Your personal journey makes you uniquely qualified to be the role model a young person needs.

“You don’t have to be a perfect person to be a good mentor. Your life experience can be very valuable to them whether you had positive experiences or you had negative experiences that you can share with them."

There’s a lot of young people who want someone to look up to. We need more mentors to help provide support, stability and leadership to our youth. Become a part of something BIG by volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee! Fill out the inquiry form to get started.

Big Sisters Cara & Little Sister Eden
Big Brother Edward & Little Brother Demonte
Big Brother Corey & Little Brother Nathan
Big Brother Dallas & Little Brother Emerald