Big Brothers Big Sisters is pleased to announce a recent move from its former headquarters at 3050 Jefferson to MacKenzie Hall in Old Sandwich Town as what will be the first of 5 new locations to better serve children and youth all across Windsor Essex. Its Neighbourhood Engagement Model, located where children and families live, is an effort to de-centralize its services making programs more accessible to the families they serve.
“Mentoring changes lives”, said Becky Parent, Executive Director. “The easier we can make it for neighbourhood youth as well as the hundreds of volunteers who mentor them, to access our programming the better. And having more in common, like lived experience in common neighbourhoods is exactly the type of mentoring relationships we hope to create. Positioning ourselves on bus routes is a start but also having someone who understands deeply the challenges that exist in a “Little’s” backyard, such as racism, crime, vandalism can make a huge difference to the kinds of supports they can offer. Having knowledge of those neighbourhood (such as the local community centre, or library branch) will help our kids build resilience right where they live.” She said.
Board Chair, Danielle Bombardier explained — “The mission of BBBSWE is to enable life-changing mentoring relationships, igniting the power and potential of young people. As the agency strives to serve children and youth who are farthest from opportunity and face the greatest adversities, our work has become more important than ever.” Our community’s future lies in how we support young people this next decade and if we can provide what they need to make healthy lifestyle choices, avoid drug use and other risks, obtain their first part time job and graduate to the trades and post-secondary this will ensure our region’s future.” She said. “This new location as well as locations to come demonstrate our board’s strategic commitment to be more intentional in its programming utilizing equity, diversity and accessibility as the pillars that will ensure success.”