Mentoring program leaving a big impact; How a pair of Big Brothers Big Sisters help each other

(WBNG) — There is a major need for volunteers across the Southern Tier for Big Brothers Big Sisters; A mentoring program to give young children local role models.

For the Twin Tiers chapter, 60 pairs of big and small are currently matched in Broome County, but a significant amount is still waiting to be matched.

More than 170 young people are waiting for a volunteer to intervene and guide them in their growth.

“Whether they know it or not, I’m here, the other greats of this program are there, and as long as they know this resource is there, if all else falls apart,” said John Ferranti, a great from the program. . “They at least have that.”

For John, stepping up and being a role model for Nate came naturally.

“A few years ago I realized that I wasn’t really a kid anymore – I’m a full adult – and that I was a teenager not too long ago,” John said. “So I kind of wanted to be someone to talk to, someone to reach out to, or someone to hang out with, someone who was my age.”

John has been part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for three years, and Nate is his third child.

Already, both of them have made lasting memories over the past few months.

“We do a lot,” said Nate Smith, John’s Little. “We go out to eat, go to a park and have fun.”

“My favorite memory is when we went to New York Chefs, the pizzeria on the north side of Binghamton, and we decided, ‘Hey, do we think we can eat a whole pizza today?’ We ate the pizza no problem and I think we’ll go for two next time,” John said.

The couple meet about once a week.

The majority of their time is spent playing sports, exercising, going out, and going out to eat.

However, at the end of the day, it’s about growing together.

“We get together and do what we love to do,” John said. “We’re struggling and the other parts of our lives have also thrived. I’ve gotten better in my personal life with work and other relationships, and Nate is doing better in school and is probably even more active than he is. I know he’s a generally active kid, but doing this exercise and getting together all the time just helps us perform better in our lives in other aspects of our lives.

If you are interested in volunteering or enrolling a child, you can find more information on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Tiers website here.

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