Mentoring

BBBS Sisters Britany and Ruth

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portrait of Brittany and Ruth grown up
It was close to Mother’s Day when Ruth Weber and Britany Williams headed out for their first get-together as Big Sister and Little Sister. They decided to drop by the Humane Society garage sale and let 6-year-old Britany choose a gift for her mom. After passing over a variety of Mother’s Day gift possibilities, something caught Britany’s eye. “I found this statue. It was of, like, a sewer rat with red glowing eyes, and it was really ugly,” Britany said. “And I was like, ‘I want to get this for my mom!’” “And it lit up,” Ruth said. “Not only did it have red eyes and it was grey and awful, but [...]

How Becoming a Mentor Can Change Your Life

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Char Laney, a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village Family Service Center
Framed photos decorate Char Laney’s tidy desk at JDP Electric, Inc., in Fargo. Among pictures of family members and pets is a small silver frame. It shows Char with her “youngest friend,” on their first outing to West Acres mall. Since 2014, Char has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village as a mentor. It started with a simple commitment: to meet with her young mentee once a week at a nearby elementary school over her lunch break. “The first day, I just knew we clicked,” Char says. “I have no problem making conversation. Neither does she.” Char Laney would spend one lunch hour [...]

Little Beginnings Lead to BIG Potential

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Big Brothers Big Sisters - Potential is Everywhere
Po·ten·tial (pə-ten-chəl): Having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future What can we do to defend the potential in the lives of kids in our community who, through no fault of their own, may not be facing the best life circumstances? How can we show them that they have a fire inside that can take them places they didn’t even know existed? Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village is trying to do just that, and you can help. By matching caring, adult mentors with children in need of a little extra guidance in their early years, we can inspire these Littles to [...]

Karl and Ervin Have a Brotherly Connection

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Karl and Ervin standing next to each other smiling
Ervin didn’t like reading. So every week, his Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, Karl would come to his school, sit with him, and help him with the words. That’s what a Big Brother does. He shows up. Every time. Six years later, Karl still shows up for Ervin. “He’s helped me get through the hard times, and he’s always been there for me when I need him,” Ervin says. “He’s one of my best friends. He’s like a real brother to me.” Karl and Ervin have been matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village since Ervin was in second grade. He’ll finish junior high this spring. Then it’s off to [...]

Nothing Helped, Then The Village Entered Their Lives

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animated family sitting on couch hugging
Sandy Nelson’s daughter was running away and cutting herself. She’d had suicidal thoughts. Nothing was helping her. She was getting worse. That’s when The Village Family Service Center entered their lives. Through In-Home Family Therapy, Outpatient Counseling, and mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters, the West Fargo family is less stressed and better able to relate to one another. Sandy adopted her three children from foster care. Her 11-year-old son came to her at birth. Her daughter came to her at age 6, and is now 16. Sandy adopted her daughter’s brother when he was 2½. Now he’s 11 [...]

How to Spot Mental Health Warning Signs in Kids

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Adults need to be on the lookout for mental health warning signs in children
Did you know that 1 in 6 youth from ages 6 to 17 experience mental health issues each year? Children often cannot voice their emotions like adults can, and that is why it is important that adults look out for warning signs of mental illness in kids. Early recognition of childhood mental health issues can prevent suicide, learning challenges, long-term mental health issues, and homelessness. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or mentor of a child, it’s important that you are able to identify possible symptoms of mental health struggles in children. What mental health issues can children face [...]

Helping Kids Cope with Anxiety

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child with anxiety hugging mom
Fear. Worry. Anger or irritation. Insomnia. Anxiety can have many faces. Sometimes, it’s the face of your child. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue of childhood and adolescence, the Child Mind Institute reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.4% of kids ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety, and reports show it’s on the rise. We asked Christina Smestad, MS, LMFT, a counselor at The Village’s Moorhead office, to share her insights about kids, anxiety, and how parents can help. Q&A: Kids and Anxiety Who does anxiety typically affect [...]