Big Brother / Little Brother 2

When the child came into the program he was one of 6 children that had been taken in by their aunt after dad was in jail for child abuse and mom was living with the children in a crack house in some other state. All the children were in very bad shape yet with time with the aunt they got some help through various services including our program. The Little, because of his young age and challenges, was the hardest and the last of the children to get a Big Brother. The match came at a time when the child …

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WANTED: A Few Good Men

By Al Parker “We need men!” That’s the plaintive cry from Cecilia Chesney, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan. The organization, which provides one-to-one mentoring to more than 300 at-risk youngsters in an eight-county region, is in dire need of male mentors for boys in the program, Chesney tells The Ticker. Only 25 percent of Bigs are men, according to Chesney. Of the inquiries made by those interested in being volunteers last year only 20 percent came from men. And there are 105 youngsters from 6 to 12 years old on the BBBS waiting list, compared …

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Match Story

High School Big Brother and his Little have been matched for 5 months in the school-based program. The Little Brother is in 4th grade and is going through some rough times because his parent has stage 4 cancer. The Big Brother has been an outstanding Big this year, not only because he is one of three Big Brothers out of 38 at this school, but because he has been a consistent champion for the Little. The Big Brother has never missed a week even with snow days, exams, ACT testing and trimester schedule changes. When the Big and Little go …

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The Joy Of Being A ‘Big’

When I became a Big Brother 10 years ago, I had no idea how my life was about to change. For some reason, I walked into the program thinking the one hour I spent a week with my first Little – third grader David – would mean drilling him on his spelling words or quizzing him on his state capitals. We never did get around to that. Instead, we spent four years playing football outside at recess, watching his friendship circle expand to more than 20 classmates and talking about things that really mattered to him. The day he graduated …

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Big Brother / Little Brother 1

Matched in August of 2008. Within first two weeks of supervision we learned the family was moving because mom was going into rehab and all the children were being placed with other family members through foster care. The Big continued to meet with the Little consistently while the child was in placement with other family members until the judge decided the family members were not an appropriate fit for the child. The Little was put in foster care just 6 months after being placed with family members. Once in foster care, the foster family decided they were not willing to …

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Big Sister / Little Sister

Matched 8 years. The Child first lived with mom when entering the program and then moved to dad’s due to mom’s substance abuse. Over the year’s dad has struggled with her daughter’s adolescent stuff. Dad recently decided it was more important to have a girlfriend than a daughter. So dad voluntarily gave up his rights and the child was placed in foster care at age 14. She has been in 4 different foster care placements in the area over the last 18 months. All the while the Big Sister has stayed connected with her. She talk’s to her regularly and …

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Big Brother / Little Brother 5

Big and Little have been matched for 7 years. In that time they have made a good friendship and done a lot of activities together but hardship has followed throughout their time together. In late November 2010 through regular supervision contact with the parent we first learned that the child was in a detention center outside our service area. The parent did not elaborate as to why but did give the case manager the name and number of the person working with the family through the juvenile court system. We informed the Big who also knew nothing about it and …

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Big Brother / Little Brother 4

Were matched 8 years. Match ended in March of 2010. Big and Little are still in touch. Just prior to end of the match the Little had a child of his own at the age of 18. While the Big was surprised and concerned, he says the child is showing some responsibility. The Little is still following his plan to go into the military – a lifetime dream, and he is planning on marrying the mother of the child before he goes. He has also contacted the military to make necessary housing arrangements for his soon to be wife and …

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Big Brother / Little Brother 3

Matched 2 years. The Little is being raise by his Great Grandparents, one of which is bedridden. Mom was in an Alcohol treatment facility for substance abuse when the child came in to the program, and has since only sporadically seen the child when convenient or needing something. The child does not think of her as mom and even calls her by nickname. Dad was in prison for selling drugs at the time the child enrolled. There are other siblings, but the child knows nothing of them nor sees them. The child has been diagnosed with ADHD and Bi-Polar. The …

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