Mentors needed now more than ever for kids and young teens in the Treasure Valley

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 10:06:31-05

BOISE, Idaho — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho pairs kids ages 6 through 14 with an adult who acts as a mentor, friend, and steady companion during unsteady times.

Despite an ongoing pandemic, their work is more important now than ever before.

Kristina Souto-Maior is a licensed master social worker with Molly and Me Counseling who works first hand with kids ages 10 and up.

"You can tell when a kid has somebody that's a strong influence in their life," Souto-Maior said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho believes all kids, no matter their home situation or financial status, can benefit from having a mentor.

"Just being a child and growing up can provide challenges," said BBBS of Southwest Idaho CEO Emily Johnson.

Souto-Maior said based on her experience working with juvenile offenders, without programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters, children tend to slip through the cracks.

"Curiosity gets the better of them, and they get into bad situations, and then it kind of snowballs," Souto-Maior said.

Despite the pandemic, "Bigs" and their "Littles" continue to meet but still abide by CDC guidelines.

If you'd like to volunteer as a Big or sign your child up to be a Little, click here.