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Nonprofit gives award to university

Posted on 02.06.2013

Over Christmas Break, the University of Indianapolis was presented with a Corporate Partner award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana in recognition of the university’s commitment to youth mentoring for 2012.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a mentoring program in which students 21 years or older (Bigs) are paired up with children 18 or under (Littles).

According to the BBBSCI website, Bigs in the program dedicate at least 4-6 hours per month to their Littles for at least a whole year. In doing so, the Bigs are helping the Littles improve academically and socially.

(From left) Director of Community Programs Marianna Foulkrod and President Robert Manuel are awarded by BBBSCI CEO Darcey Palmer-Schulz. Photo contributed by Allison Schrock.

“It really makes an impact in their lives to have a one-on-one mentorship,”  said UIndy Community Outreach and  Student Engagement Coordinator Stephanie Sachs.

Sachs said that it is up to the students and their Littles what they want to do during their time. They can go out for ice cream, go to a museum or a park, or help with homework, as long as they are spending time together.

In return, the Littles are making an impact on the Bigs as well. According to Sachs,  after graduating from the program, many Bigs’ career choices are impacted by their experiences. Many Bigs, after being in the BBBS program, are more intent on pursuing a career that works with children.

“It’s not necessarily that our students are just serving or volunteering with them [Littles], they’re connecting on different levels. It’s impacting their view of the world. It’s teaching them to be selfless, to be patient,” Sachs said.

During November of this past semester, the Bigs and Littles of UIndy came together for a Project Management class on campus. Participants were encouraged to bring their own t-shirts to make different scarves out of them. According the BBBSCI’s website, these unique scarves were then sold in the Schwitzer Student Center Atrium. All proceeds from the scarves went back to BBBSCI.

“It has a broad community impact,” Sachs said. “Because when you do have more people committed to mentoring and helping others be successful, you’re moving the entire society forward.”


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