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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Brazos Valley celebrates over 100 volunteers

Posted at 8:55 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 01:26:28-05

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Brazos Valley aims to serve the children of the Brazos Valley. Friday Night, they celebrated 150 of their volunteers for all of their hard work.

In honor of National Mentoring Month, director Terry Dougherty says staff, board members and volunteers join for an appreciation dinner to see how they’ve brought the community together.

“I believe with all my heart that every kid has the potential to do great things in his or her life,” Dougherty said. “I also know that there’s a lot of help needed in order for those youth to reach their potential in the future.”

And the volunteers make it happen.

“Our mentors help them to do just that,” said Dougherty. “They help them to see the world in a bigger way, to dream big dreams, and to set goals and to reach those goals."

Mentee and mentors celebrated their years of being matched, ranging in under one year to six years.

Travis Mitchell and Eric Roquet celebrate one and a half years of being matched.

“For Halloween, we went trick or treating, we eat a lot,” said Travis Mitchell, Little Brother. “For my birthday, we went to Lake Bryan.

“We got out for Saturday breakfast, go out for the events Big Brothers Big Sisters hosts,” said Eric Roquet, Big Brother. “We did rock climbing.”

Parent and youth manager Clotilde Pichon helps pair mentees with mentors.

“When you ask the kid what grade they would give to their big, it’s almost all the time 10 because they really love their bigs,” said Clotilde Pichon, parent/youth manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Brazos Valley.

Travis says Eric has been a positive influence in his life.

“I do this list about my long term and short-term goals,” said Mitchell. “I say hi to everybody when I wake up. I call my family to make sure they are doing okay.”

One of Travis’ long-term goals are becoming a marine biologist one day.

For Eric, becoming a Big Brother gave him the opportunity to be a role model for someone else.

“Just the opportunity to give back and demonstrate what an older role model could be and try to give him some good character advice and future advice, and hanging out, having fun,” said Roquet. “That’s the basis of it.”

For Big Sister Lisa Urban, she has been matched with her mentee for going on seven years.

She says she enjoys being able to watch her mentee grow.

“When we first started, she was really into making arts and crafts and doing things like that,” Urban said. “Now things have changed. She went through a phase where she wanted to garden and then she went through a phase where she wanted to bake, and now we are kind of at that phase where we just hang out with each other and talk about our lives. It’s been really fun and educational for the both of us.”

“Without the volunteers, our mission will not work, and they really do give all they can, and a lot of the volunteers do a very good job,” said Pichon.

If you are interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, you can find more details here.