Growing up together: Reflections of a local “Big Brother” pair on the importance of mentorship

By Gordon Lambie

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada is a well established mentoring program, but Shanna Young says that she was still surprised to find it had a presence in the Eastern Townships. “As a single mother, I was looking for a positive male role model in my sons’ lives,” she said, explaining that when her children were involved with the “Big Buddies” program run by Bishop’s University when the family lived in Lennoxville, but lost that opportunity for mentorship when moving to Sherbrooke. Seeking a replacement, she turned to the internet and discovered the local “Grands Frères Grandes Soeurs” chapter. Shanna’s sons Marcus and Ryan are both now involved with the program, the former having been matched with a “big brother” back in April and the latter just about a month ago. “You apply online, and then go in for an interview about why you want to do it,” she said. “When they find someone who suits the child, then the parent goes to meet with the big brother or big sister to determine if they are comfortable with that person meeting their child.” In the case of Félix Mathieu, who was chosen as Ryan’s big brother, the connection seemed natural and immediate. See full story in the Tuesday, Oct. 8 edition of The Record.

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