Bears and Cubs connects at-risk youth with RMC mentors, article by Rachel Raymond

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Bears and Cubs is a mentoring program where Rocky Mountain College students are able to interact and become good role models for children at Highland Elementary School. RMC freshman Christine DuVall, a first year student in the program, said, “I wanted to be a Big in order to give my Little someone to talk to as well as have a constant friend. I wanted to be able to help kids know what else is out there and to always try their best.”

There are many reasons a student could want to be a “Big.” The program is beneficial and can appeal to students who are seeking work experience for many fields of study. “I was brought to Bears and Cubs because I want to be a pediatric physical therapist, so I was looking to get involved with children in some way,” said

DuVall when she was asked why she was interested in Bears and Cubs. Bears and Cubs is a great way to get to know kids and to be that role model that is a positive in- uence by just contributing a small amount of your time every week to them.

Dr. Jean Rhodes and Jean Grossman, in “Keeping Matches Together,” analyzed the effects of mentoring provided by the national Big Brothers Big Sisters program and found that the “youth who were in matches that lasted more than twelve months reported significantly higher levels of self-worth, social acceptance, and scholastic competence; they also reported that their relationship with their parents had improved, that school had become more rewarding, and the risk or usage of drug and alcohol use lessened.” This was in 2002, since then the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has only grown, allowing for more positive outreach to elementary schools.

Bears and Cubs is beneficial personally, but it is also great for the community because it exposes children to higher education opportunities. It shows children the importance of education and that it is attainable if they use their resources like being part of Bears and Cubs mentoring program. DuVall corroborated this and said, “The program is beneficial to our community because it connects little kids with college at a young age. They’re able to make goals to get to college and start forming their dreams.” Bears and Cubs is open for enrollment for any Rocky Mountain student in the 2016-2017 school year. Bears and Cubs always needs candidates, so sign up and make the ‘RMC Difference’ in our community.

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