Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO says Rhode Island men need to step up


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — For months now, Big Brothers Big Sisters Rhode Island has been looking for male mentors.

The shortage of male volunteers prompted BBBS to shut down mentee applications for boys and President and CEO of BBBS Katje Afonseca says, “We need men to step up.”

Right now, there are 50 boys on a wait list for mentors while the non-profit searches for volunteers. The shortage is not only a Rhode Island problem, but an issue facing BBBS programs across the country.  

At the reigns of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Afonseca emphasizes the importance of playing a positive role in these children’s lives before it’s too late.

“These kids are really little bottles of potential and somebody is going to get ahold of them. It could be somebody positive that’s going to be like, ‘Hey, look at these great things you can do in life and be a happy, whole person.’ Or it’s going to be someone negative.”

Afonseca said the BBBS team makes it easy to be a mentor.

The nonprofit is heavily connected throughout New England with financial resources to help Bigs and Littles take part in fun relationship building activities — everything from learning to ski at Yawgoo, to taking in a Celtics game or spending a day exploring the Roger Williams Zoo.  

If you want to learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters Rhode Island or how you can volunteer, click here.

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