Big Brothers Big Sisters Bigs & Littles

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January is National mentoring month, and here in Casper, up to 50 kids are waiting for a mentor at any given moment.

News 13’s Frances Lin spoke with current bigs and littles about the relationships they formed.

They said they love spending time with each other, and learned a lot throughout their experience.

National mentoring month is a campaign to honor and celebrate the importance of mentoring.

"So there's one in three kids that don't have a connection to a meaningful adult outside their home,” said Amanda Lewallen, the Casper Branch Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Kids within the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program said they’re getting so much out of their experience.

"It feels like she's my mommy,” said a little.

"When we first met, I remember my mom said we're going to do this, and I was like, and then eventually I found out what was going to happen, and that we were going to do all this stuff, I got excited and I started bothering her all the time,” said Olivia Bradley, a little.

"I like it because I can learn new things,” said a little.

"Whenever someone asks who she is I'd say my sister,” said a little.

Not only emotional connections, but improving physical health as well.

"I wasn't so like fit before I met him but, like I was big. We've been doing so much active stuff,” said Conner Jones, a little.

Mentors said the experience has been rewarding.

"It just warms your heart,” said a big.

"The sisterhood that we truly have and the bond is amazing,” said a big.

"Hanging out and seeing the progression over a short period of seven months span, I can see changes in myself and in Conner. It's super rewarding,” said Orrin Farmer, a big.

Parents also benefit from the program, seeing their kids gain a sense of independence.

"He looks forward to it every week, they go out and everything, and he gets his own little alone time,” said Ciera Jones, Conner Jones’ mom.
For some parents, it’s a chance for kids to have same-sex role models in their lives.

"They don't have a lot of male influence in their life, so bringing in another male and just having them spend time together and what not is just like really influential on their lives. It gives them a kind of hope you know, every week they have something to look forward to,” said Katie Fitzgerald, Elijah and Jacobe’s mom.

"My kids were a little bit intimidated at first obviously, trying to get to know somebody, but now they're like family to us and to the kids,” said Kayleigh Evans, Elijah and Jacobe’s mom.

Mentors said it doesn’t take up much of your time.

"It's an hour a week, you know, like you spend that much time probably more than that just browsing Instagram,” said Angie Lariviere, a big.

"An hour, two a week, it's not that big a commitment,” said another big.

They are always accepting new kids and new mentors.

On 1/16/2018, the mayor will proclaim national mentoring month for Casper.

And their next group activity is on the 21st, snowmobiling with the Casper Snow Gypsies.