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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg Launches LGBTTQ2IA* Community Mentorship Program

P.R.I.S.M. (Pride, Respect, Identity, Safety, Mentoring) is a unique mentoring program designed to pair adults from the LGBTTQ2IA* community with children and youth who also identify as part of this community.

Transgender advocate, Shandi Strong says, “P.R.I.S.M. is in a word, inspirational.  LGBTTQ2IA* kids need to know so much about themselves as they grow up; it’s not always that they see their identity or their future in their parents.”

The first of its kind in Manitoba, the P.R.I.S.M. program offers both mentor and mentee a meaningful way to learn and grow, share intergenerational history, and build belonging. The matches support youth to feel respected, and celebrated. Strong mentoring relationships increase optimism, hope, and confidence in both mentee and mentor, and has been demonstrated in research to reduce depression.

“The Community has a rich history of forging support networks on an informal basis, but children and youth who identify as part of this community still face many barriers in their daily lives,” says Jane Marion, Director of Service for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg. “This program is an important act of resistance to the adversity and social exclusion faced disproportionately by the queer community. Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to practices of diversity, equity and inclusion, and providing a safe space.”

The P.R.I.S.M. program requires volunteers and youth to commit to spending a few hours a week together, once a week for at least one year. There are matching streams for people who wish to volunteer during the day through In-School Mentoring, or evenings and weekends in the Community. Read more here.

P.R.I.S.M. mentor and mentee applications are now being accepted. Inquiries can be requested online at www.bigwinnipeg.com or calling 204-988-9200.

 

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Blue Bomber Thomas Miles is a new Honorary Spokesperson for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg, And Issues Challenge to Volunteer

After three seasons with the Toronto Argonauts, home-grown athlete and new linebacker for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Thomas Miles is happy to be home in Winnipeg, and eager to make a difference. Miles immediately signed up to be a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg. Now he wants to do more to help.

“There are over 100 kids waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister here in Winnipeg. I’m looking forward to using my role as honorary spokesperson to encourage others to sign up; none of these kids should need to wait – so I’m asking my fellow Winnipeggers to set aside a few hours per week, and become a mentor.”

Greg Unger, Executive Director with Big Brother Big Sisters of Winnipeg says Miles is living proof that we can all find the time, and we can use that time to make a difference.

“Thomas is very busy. He’s dealing with the rigors of training for his professional football career. He’s also pursuing his MBA, and is doing a lot of volunteering in the community”, says Unger. “But he’s committed to being a mentor with our organization. I’m really looking forward to working with Thomas and receiving lots of new volunteer applications.”

Miles believes we can all find a way to contribute. “Mentors and role models are critical for kids and young adults. I’ve been fortunate to have strong, loving people surrounding me throughout my life, and their support has facilitated my growth as a football player, student, and person. It’s important to have someone believe in you. I’m the person I am today because of them.” says Miles. “I’m excited to develop a strong bond with my Little Brother, and be a positive role model for him.”

If you're ready to be a mentor, click on the volunteer tab at the top of the page, and begin with the online orientation.


 WE'VE MOVED! SORT OF...

Our time at 765 Portage Avenue is no more. As of Friday, March 31st, 2017 we will no longer be located at that address.

Our new home is almost ready! And we're really excited to move in and show you around. We're just waiting for the finishing touches to be put in place so we can settle in.

In the meantime, our staff are still hard at work, and available by phone or email for you.

Click here to find contact information for all of our staff.

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