Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle TN mentoring

Courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -- Mentoring for real life in a digital world, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee is connecting high schoolers with mentors online. 

The E-Mentor Program with the organization started for Middle Tennessee in 2017 at Antioch High School and has since graduated their first class of matches.

Recent graduate Evelyn Waheeb was among the first "Littles" to be matched in the program with "Big" match Jane Grote. 

"That was the greatest part about it was finding someone who is like you to mentor you so you guys can relate," said Waheeb.  

E-Mentoring matches high school juniors to an adult through Big Brothers Big Sisters to help teach life skills and prepare for college, working in a digital environment and more. 

"The future of jobs is changing really rapidly and to be able to share my experience with that," said Grote. 

For the "Bigs," Grote says that mentoring a student online gives a lot more flexibility to volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

"It opens up Big Brothers Big Sisters because you get to use technology and makes it a lot simpler," said Alyson Woods, local Director of Annual Giving and Communications.  

For E-Mentoring, Bigs and their Littles spend an hour a week online with a special designed curriculum, then hang out in person three times a year for two school years. The traditional community and school-based format for Big Brothers Big Sisters involves doing activities with matches at least an hour every week for a year. 

E-Mentoring is currently only offered at Antioch High School. Waheeb says after her positive experience, she hopes to see it expand to more schools in the future in the Nashville area. Currently, in Middle Tennessee about 90 kids are looking to be matched with traditional community and school-based Bigs. 

"Its really about sharing your story and the kind of connection and community," said Grote.  

"As an individual she gave me a lot of advice on life and then as a role model and teacher she taught me a lot about college and the reality of life and what i'm going to face," said Waheeb.  

You can find out more about E-Mentoring or more of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee's programs at an informational meeting on Tuesday, August 20 at Starbucks at Metro Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at a come-and-go information session with CEO Melissa Hudson-Gant. See more about becoming a Big and complete the application at MentorAKid.org.

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