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Big Brothers Big Sisters organization seeks WSSU student volunteers

By Maurika Smutherman
On September 25, 2012

Do you need more volunteer service hours? 

Do you like children? 

If you answered yes to both of those questions, consider Big Brothers Big Sisters of Forsyth County.

For about five years, the partnership of Winston-Salem State and BBBS has been providing students with opportunities to mentor children facing adversity. 

Minority children are especially at-risk in Forsyth County. In 2011, more than half of the children served were minorities. 

Molly Allred, development coordinator for BBBS, said the organization is looking to increase the number of WSSU volunteers by providing transportation for the Site-Based program.

In the Site-Based program, WSSU Bigs [a big brother or sister] spend time with Littles [little brother or little sister] at Konnoak Elementary School and Philo-Hill Middle School in Winston-Salem.

"We started providing transportation to WSSU students last year," Allred said.  Students can be picked up in front of the Clock Tower. 

Allred said she  hoped to increase the number of Bigs to at least 50 by the end of this year by participating in the Student Activities Fair on Aug. 29.

"Over 100 students signed up to volunteer at the [Student Activities] fair," Allred said. Despite that, she said only a low number of those students actually showed up to volunteer.

A junior psychology major from Charlotte, Amber Edwards, is a BBBS  volunter.   

Edwards said she became a Big Sister last year and mentored a middle school student from Winston-Salem. She and her Little went shopping, studied and celebrated birthdays together.

"To know that you are about to make a positive difference in someone's life is powerful," Edwards said.

"Being a Big Sister was something I wanted to do since I was 16 when my father became a mentor," she said. 

"As soon as I turned 18, I signed up."

Becoming a Big requires an extensive background check and interview process. 

Bigs are matched with their Littles based on compatibility.

"I think it's great that the organization stresses the importance of matching Bigs and Littles based on similarities," Edwards said.

"Being a Big Sister is life changing because I know that she [her Little] will always remember me, and I will forever remember her."

Edited by Chelsea Burwell and 

Lakia Cooper

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