WMass mentor program in “critical” need of funding

The group is pushing for $500K in state funding

www.mgnonline.com

BOSTON (WWLP) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County visited the State House on Thursday to highlight their youth mentoring program.

One little girl told 22News she considers her mentor part of her family. Samantha Mikulskis was raised by her grandmother, who is physically unable to do fun activities with her.

Samantha got involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County and they matched her with a mentor. “We do everything together; everything that my mom can’t do with me. We go roller-skating, boating, swimming,” said Mikulskis

These activities create more than just great memories for kids like Samantha. Big Brothers Big Sisters believes having a youth mentor can lead to better grades in school and a higher self-esteem.

Their Franklin County program has matched 125 children with carefully-screened mentors, but a lack of funding has left some kids unable to participate. According to Danielle Letourneau-Therrien, “Right now, it’s about 25 kids on the waitlist, just waiting for a mentor.”

The group is pushing for $500-thousand in state funding, money that would be matched by private donors. It would help kids like Samantha find someone they consider a Big Brother or Sister.

Big Brother Big Sister of Franklin County told 22News there can be as many as 100 kids on their waitlist, so they consider the additional funding “critical.”

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