The Rutherford Report: Nonprofit Connects Mentors with Youth

Click here if you are having trouble reading The Rutherford Report


The Rutherford Report
  View Past Issues Visit Jan's Website View Print Editions  
Top Photo
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”

—John C. Crosby
Nonprofit Connects Mentors with Youth

When J.R. Harrison of Upland wanted to be a volunteer mentor for a young person in need, he reached out to the oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the nation—Big Brothers Big Sisters.  

“It was one of those things in the back of my mind that I always thought would be neat to do,” Harrison said.  

Big Brothers Big Sisters connects boys and girls—known affectionately as Littles—between the ages of 6 and 18 with adult mentors— who are called Bigs. Volunteers commit to spending a couple of hours two times a month with their Little, and they also agree to spend at least a year in the program.  

The organization traces its roots back to 1904 when a New York City court clerk set out to find mentors for the youth going through the New York Children’s Court.  

The non-profit’s local affiliate—Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire—interviewed Harrison, explained the mentorship program, and ran a background check on him like they do for all their volunteers.  

“It’s an interesting experience,” Harrison said. “They analyze the person who wants to be a Big and try to match them with the needs and interest of the kids.”  

Eventually, Harrison was paired with a 12-year-old boy named Victor.  

“It was a little difficult to draw out what excited him,” he said. “He’s a shy kid.”  

Harrison told Victor he worked as an airplane mechanic after discovering the boy was interested in cars, and pretty soon the two were chatting away about automobiles and engines.  

“It just kind of tied things together and gave us something to talk about,” he said.  

He took Victor go-carting on their first outing. Since then, they’ve visited the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA, went to the movies, and watched airplanes land while eating In N’ Out burgers near LAX.  

When Victor confided he was having trouble in math class, Harrison gave him some tips, and since then, the boy’s math grade has improved.  

Victor has also helped Harrison, who is admittedly a little loquacious, look at life and relationships a little differently.  

“I’ve learned to sit back and observe a little more,” he said. “He opens my eyes on how to handle things.”  

Learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters by visiting
Was The Rutherford Report forwarded to you? Click here to subscribe.

Logo Questions?
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook Visit us on Twitter Visit us on YouTube Visit us HERE   Visit us HERE   Visit us HERE  

Manage Preferences  |  Unsubscribe  |  Help