Mentoring program leaving big impact; How one Big Brothers Big Sisters pair is helping each other

There’s a major need for volunteers across the Southern Tier for Big Brothers Big Sisters; A mentoring program to give young children local role models.
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Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 7:14 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- There’s a major need for volunteers across the Southern Tier for Big Brothers Big Sisters; A mentoring program to give young children local role models.

For the Twin Tiers chapter, 60 pairs of bigs and littles are currently matched in Broome County, but a significant amount are still waiting to be paired.

Over 170 youth are waiting for a volunteer to step up and guide them as they grow.

“Whether they know it or not, I’m here, the other bigs in this program are here, and as long as they know that resource is there, if everything else is falling apart,” said John Ferranti, a Big in the program. “They at least have that.”

For John, stepping up and being a role model for Nate cam naturally.

“A few years ago, I realized I’m not really a kid anymore - I’m a full blown adult - and me being a teenager hasn’t been that long ago,” John said. “So, I kinda wanted to be somebody to talk, somebody to reach out to, or somebody to just hang out with for somebody that was my age.”

John has been a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for three year, and Nate is his third little.

Already, the two of them have made lasting memories over the past few months.

“We do a lot,” said Nate Smith, John’s Little. “We go out to eat, go to a park, and go have fun.”

“My favorite memory is when we went out to New York Chefs, the pizza place on the Northside of Binghamton, and we decided, ‘Hey do we think we can eat a whole pizza today?’ We ate the pizza no problem and I think we’re going to go for two next time,” John said.

The pair meets about once a week.

A majority of their time is spent playing sports, exercising, hanging out and going out to eat.

However, in the end, it’s all about growing together.

“We get together and do what we like to do,” John said.”We distress and the other parts of our life flourished too. I’ve gotten better in my personal life with work and other relationships, and Nate’s doing better in school and even being more active than he was probably. I know he’s a generally active kid, but getting that exercise and us getting together all the time just helps us preform better in our lives in other aspects of our lives.”

If you’re interested in volunteering or enrolling a child, you can find more information on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Tiers website here.

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