Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana is looking for men to volunteer as mentors for boys facing adversity in the community.
KATC’s Abby Breidenbach introduces us to a boy who’s been waiting on a big brother for more than two years now.
He tells us why he believes this kind of mentorship could save his life.
“I want to be an educated person, very educated. I want to have a career in life and I want to have children and stuff like that,” says Ja’quoin who is looking for a big brother.
Before he gets a degree, a career or has kids of his own, Ja’quoin knows there’s a lot he needs to learn.
“How to grow up and be mature, how it feels to be a man in life and become one and what you gotta do, and stuff like that,” Ja’quoin says.
This sixth grader is growing up in a neighborhood known for violence and crime and not so much for role models.
“I really don’t have people to play with in Iles de Cannes. I really don’t have a dad in my life so I only have my mom,” Ja’quoin says.
Ja’quoin says his mom works hard to keep his brother and him on the right track, turning to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana to help with some of what she can’t do.
“I want a big brother to stay out of trouble and stuff, say if somebody was shooting, I wouldn’t be there. I could be having fun with him instead of being in all that mess,” Ja’quoin explains.
Unfortunately, the wait for big brothers has been two years longer than the family hoped.
This is the case for more than 60 boys signed up for the program. Due to a lack of volunteers, they’re still not matched with a big.
“We are in desperate need of male mentors, Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Kalli Christ says. “Our greatest need right now is to find big brothers to serve as mentors, motivators, and friends to young boys in the community who are facing some type of adversity.”
For many like Ja’quoin, the wait’s been long, but he’s been holding on to hope that it will be worth it.
“A lot of people doing bad things in life, so if they had a big brother, and if they were taking them to eat out and have fun, they wouldn’t be doing that. It probably would’ve changed their life,” Ja’quoin says.
If you’d like to step in to volunteer, the organization is holding a group orientation on Tuesday evening August 28, 2018. The meeting will be held at the big brother, big sister office on East Main Street in Lafayette.