Hello, my name is Karen Koyote and I am the Regional Director for Big Brother’s Big Sister’s Mountain Region/Taos and Colfax counties. Big Brother’s Big Sister’s is the oldest mentoring organization in the United States and we have been active in the Colfax area for approximately four years.
As you are probably aware of we have many youth in our community that are facing challenging circumstances. Research has shown that long term one-to-one mentoring has a positive effect on youth. Behavior issues go down, school attendance goes up and overall they have more positive outlooks toward adults and improve socially.
In Big Brother’s Big Sister’s we have 2 types of mentoring programs. We have a School Based Program and a Community Based Program. In the School Based Program the volunteers, whom we call “Bigs” Meet with the youth “Littles” at the school for about an hour a week. Usually they meet at lunch time or some other time of the day when they can interact. They can also spend time with them in the library reading together, playing on the playground or possibly going into the classroom if the teacher is agreeable with that.
In the Community Based Program the matches meet in the community 2-4 times a month. They can go on hikes, do arts and crafts, go to the movies, and shoot hoops or whatever else they enjoy doing together.
Right now we have 11 matches in Colfax County and we are hoping to increase this number by 12 this year.
We are a volunteer and donation supported organization. The funds that we raise go towards supporting the mentoring matches. It costs about $1,250.00 to support one match for one year. The costs include the fingerprinting and background check for the volunteers and the ongoing support that is provided by our Program Specialist. She checks in with the volunteers every month to make sure everything is going well and discusses any needs they might have.
Right now we have a fundraiser going on called Bowl for Kid’s Sake. We do this every year about this time and what it consists of is peer-to peer fundraising, combined with business sponsorships. As the name implies it has a bowling theme. If a person wishes to have a team they get 3 other friends r co-workers together and they sign up on the website www.bbbsmountainregion.org/bfks to get started. They then collectively raise a minimum of $400.00 per team ($100.00 each) to go towards the program.
If someone is interested in doing a team I would recommend they sign up soon to have time to raise the funds and to secure a spot in one of the sessions.
The event is a celebration of the work that everyone has done to make the fundraising a success. It will be held at two locations this year. The Angel Fire resort will host the event in Angel Fire with sessions at 5:00 and possibly 6:00. On April 8, 2017 the event will be held at the KTAOS Solar Center Pavilion at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 pm. We set up TV screens and do a Wii Bowling version as we don’t have a bowling alley here (yet). We are hoping to get as many of the local matches involved as we can by providing them teams that are paid for so they can more easily participate.
If you would like to help with this cause you can donate any amount to the teams.
Other ways an individual or business can help is by providing prize or raffle items to the event.
We are also always in need of adult volunteers who may be interested in becoming mentors or in businesses that can provide discounts to the matches for activities.
If you are interested in donating you can contact one of our Angel Fire board members, Debbie Welker at 505-428-8023 firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at 575-770-5751 email@example.com.
I hope that this information is helpful. You can contact me with questions, ideas or just to chat. Thanks again and I hope you have a great day!