Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs Needs Moms to be Mentors

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

Janine Williams says she was a relatively new mom herself when she decided to become a mentor in the Mom2Mom program.

"I think you go into it thinking that you're there to help someone and be a support to someone who needs it, but really in the end you're gaining just as much back," said Williams.

She signed up for the program and was matched in December 2009 with then Grand Island Senior High junior Alyssa Aguilar.

Since then Aguilar has given birth to a son, graduated from high school, and is now enrolled in college classes. Big Brothers Big Sisters says they're just one of the Mom2Mom success stories.

"We've had a lot of great success with the outcomes," said Valerie Hinrichs, Executive Director of BBBS of GI. "The kids are getting through high school, they're not having child welfare contacts, so our success rate's very high with this program."

The program not only offers a teen mom a connection to a supportive mentor, but also the chance to reach out to others in a similar situation.

"A lot of the teen moms had older babies than I did, so getting to know those other teen moms and how they handled things was a good experience," said Aguilar. "There are other teen moms and mentors that are here to help you."

Both Williams and Aguilar say the relationships formed at Mom2Mom last long after the program ends.

"She's become and extension of our family," said Williams. "We just invite her over for dinner or hang out, and our kids love to play together."

Hinrichs says the program is always looking for more moms to be mentors as the program, now in it's third year, continues to grow.

"We ask that you're just open and willing to work with a teenager and really just be a friend and share some experiences that you've had and what's made your life really special with your children," she said.

The need for mentors from surrounding communities has increased since the Mom2Mom program is now open to all of Hall, Hamilton, Howard, and Merrick Counties.

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