The career services office at Southwestern Assemblies of God University is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters to pair SAGU students, staff and faculty with students who need mentors.

“SAGU has a goal of 100 participants this year,” career services director Beverly Robinson said.

SAGU cheerleaders are at the forefront of campus involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Each of the previous two semesters they have volunteered to do things as simple as eating lunch on the playground with the children, reading a book out loud, talking about friends, playing hop scotch, shooting hoops or watching a school play.

According to information provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas, research shows that at-risk children with an additional caring adult mentor in their lives are:

52 percent less likely to skip school 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs 27 percent less likely to use alcohol

Also, in a recent survey of school-based BBBS volunteers:

96 percent said mentoring was a fun volunteer experience 98 percent believed they had benefited from the program 98 percent would recommend BBBS mentoring to others

“After I graduate, I plan to teach and mentor children and continue to be a volunteer in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program,” said Jordan Chandley, SAGU senior and a Miss New Mexico semi-finalists during a recent interview in SAGU’s latest alumni magazine.

“I believe that children are our future and our greatest asset,” she said. “That is why it is of critical importance to teach them the proper virtues, values and social skills to ensure a peaceful evolution to our multicultural civilization. I have been mentoring a fourth-grader in Waxahachie for an hour per week during the spring semester, which has been a wonderful opportunity to be a great role model and influence in a child’s life.”

Local involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters includes area elementary and junior high schools:

Northside Elementary (fourth-fifth grades) Wedgeworth Elementary (fourth-fifth grades) Turner Middle School (sixth grade) Waxahachie Junior High (seventh-eighth grades)

To become involved with BBBS, volunteers must complete the volunteer application and authorize a background check.

Upon receipt of the application, the BBBS customer relations team calls to schedule a one-on-one confidential interview.