Hartford Public Schools Employees Committed to their Roles as Mentors through Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. (2)

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE     Issue 1   December 21, 2012

Hartford Public Schools Employees Committed to their Roles as Mentors at Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters

When 11 year-old Hartford Public School student, Cindy would insist that Superintendent Kishimoto was her sister, Cindy's teacher thought that Cindy must be imaginging things or making it all up. Until she learned that our Superintendent, Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto was indeed Cindy's Big Sister from Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters.   Dr. Kishimoto is in fact one of 12 HPS employees who are currently mentors to HPS students through Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Dr. Kishimoto began her role as mentor in September and enjoys week-end activities with her "Little", Cindy.  (Dr. Kishimoto is the "Big" and Cindy is the "Little" in the parlance of Big Brothers Big Sisters.)  Dr. Kishimoto says about mentoring that it becomes a wonderful life-long committemnt wherein you are invested in the success of your Little.  The ever-curious Cindy, meanwhile, loves to interview Dr. K. with questions like, "What is it like to be a boss?" and "What is it like to be Superintendent?" Roles sometimes get reversed:  the two were making clay pots together in West Hartford when Dr. Kishimoto was having trouble with her clay, Cindy said reassuringly, " It's okay, as long as you're doing your best."

Some facts and figures about mentoring:

81% of former Littles surveyed agree their Big gave them hope & changed their perspective of what they thought possible.

83% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big instilled values and principles that have guided them through life.

85% of former Littles surveyed agree their experience influenced them in overcoming adversity or problems with courage.

67% of former Littles surveyed agree that their Big played a role in their decision to attend college.

Brian Kelly, the Director of Marketing at Nutmeg BBBS says, "We need more mentors, and the time commitment as not as big as many people believe.  It can be only about 6 to 10 hours per month for a 6-month to 1-year time period.  But most Bigs enjoy it so much, they end up spending more time than that.  Oft-times the relationship can grow to last a lifetime, wherein Bigs are attending the graduations and even the weddings of their Littles.

They also often begin to do things again that they haven't done in years: going to animated movies, to theme parks, making snow angels, kicking leaf piles in the park…  They find that they are re-embracing their own inner child.  It's great that the activities don't have to cost any money, you can go to the park, ride bikes, play soccer.  Plus BBBS receives many tickets to events and shows that can be given to the Bigs so they can enjoy special things with their Littles."

For more information about all of Nutmeg BBBS programs, contact MaryBeth Goral, Program Assistant, at mgoral@bbbsnutmeg.org or 860-525-5437 x117.

To register to volunteer online, click here.




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