Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan Be the Men in Mentoring Push

We all know the importance of having someone we can look up to and guide us, especially when we are young.

Just a couple hours of your time each month, can change the life of a young boy or girl.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan is looking for men specifically to step up this month.

Whitney Amann and videographer Josh Monroe introduce us to two duos who share their experience with Bigs.

Asher and Steve met four years ago.

“He was eight years old when I first met him, he’s 12 years old now,” said big brother Steve Niergarth.

“At first I was a bit shy because I didn’t know you that much,” said little brother Asher Sander.

Same for Logan and Taylor.

“When we first met, he was about up to here on me and now he’s about taller than I am, which he reminds me of that almost every time we get together,” said big brother Taylor Hawkins.

Both big brothers are at different stages in life.

“I work at Hagerty Insurance as a claims adjuster,” said Taylor. “I help out at my church.”

“I have three kids and my youngest son, when he went off to college, I was kind of missing some of the activities that we used to do with all my kids as they were growing up,” said Steven.

But even with their own jobs, hobbies and families, each duo has spent a lot of time together over the years.

Steve says, “definitely a lot of hikes and fishing.”

“We go to the Y, we go rock climbing, we work out at his house and we go to a youth group,” said little brother Logan Compeau.

Both bigs know just a few hours a month of their time, can mean a lifetime of change for someone else.

“We’re simply looking for caring adults to spend time to build a trusted relationship with a child,” said Krista Goldman, director of mentoring for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan. “The time commitment is not as much as some people might think.”

“I was like everybody, I was telling myself I was too busy to do it and then when I finally just looked into it, went through the interview process, it just kind of hit me, that’s how I want to spend my free time,” said Taylor.

Right now there are 62 boys in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan’s region waiting for their turn to build a relationship with a big, just like Asher and Logan.

“This month we’ve launched the Be the Men in MENtoring campaign,” said Krista. “The boys on our waiting list are currently age’s six to 12 and they want someone to spend time with them, they would love to just come along to enjoy the activities that our volunteers enjoy doing.”

“You can kind of combine some of the interests that you have and just include your little with you, it doesn’t always necessarily have to be something that is beyond what you would normally do but just including your little with you in your activity and that’s sometimes all it takes,” said Steven.

Just four to six hours a month, gives these kids new opportunities and experiences…

While creating life-changing friendships…

“Like I’ve told his mom that when my time comes to get married one day, he’s going to be up there with me and my wedding,” said Taylor.

And lessons they’ll carry with them forever.

“Confidence, I’m not as shy around people and perseverance too,” said Asher.

So as they step into different seasons of life, these boys know they’ll always have someone by their side.

“I get to look up to him and kind of follow on his tracks,” said Asher.

Cheering them on, every step of the way.

“He’s just shaping up to be a great young man,” said Steven.

“He’s one of my favorite best friends,” said Logan.

“He’s honestly, he’s just he’s one of the best kids I know and I’m pretty lucky to be his big,” said Taylor.

Click here for more information on the “Be the Men in Mentoring” campaign.