Listen to this article.
ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta have met Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ goal of matching more than 100 mentors with local boys ages 8 to 14.
Launched in June 2019, Bottoms’ 100 Men to Mentors Challenge has identified and matched 103 mentors. As a part of Atlanta’s commitment to the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, in conjunction with the Obama Foundation, the City of Atlanta partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta last year to help secure mentors for the 100 Atlanta boys who were until just recently on a waiting list to be matched with mentors.
“At the heart of our One Atlanta vision is a commitment to expanding opportunity to Atlanta’s youth,” said Bottoms. “We are grateful to every person who answered the call and became a mentor. The 103 boys who now have been paired with Big Brothers can move forward knowing they have support in a positive male role model.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters has partnered with the City of Atlanta to help meet Bottoms’ One Atlanta vision of building a safe and welcoming city with thriving communities and neighborhoods and residents who are equipped for success.
“Our partnership with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City of Atlanta has allowed us to pair more than 100 boys in key areas with a mentor,” said Kwame Johnson, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. “These are boys who were waiting for a Big Brother, some for many months. Beyond the matches made, 100 Men to Mentors has also put our program in the spotlight, where potential volunteers throughout the city can see the life-changing work of Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Last year, Bottoms and city officials met with leaders from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. Upon learning that there were 100 boys who live in Atlanta who were on a waitlist for mentors, Bottoms committed to closing that gap and elevating the importance of the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
In July and August, the mayor’s One Atlanta Office and Big Brothers Big Sisters hosted four orientation sessions across the city. Hundreds of interested men attended these events to learn more about the expectations associated with becoming a “Big Brother” through the program.
In September, the City of Atlanta hosted its first-ever Summit on Atlanta’s Boys at City Hall. The symposium brought Atlanta residents, civic, non-profit, and business leaders together to explore the state of and solutions for Atlanta’s boys and young men of color. The event included panel discussions on the importance of mentoring, the state of education, and the disparities facing our boys and young men of color. As part of the day’s program, a group of local boys and young men met with Mayor Bottoms to share their personal experiences and needs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta is actively recruiting potential mentors. Priority matching will go to men living in or near the 30315, 30318, and 30310 zip codes. To serve as a Big Brother, interested applicants must be over the age of 21 and able to commit to meeting with the appointed Little Brother a few times a month for at least one year. For more information, visit: https://www.bbbsatl.org/mentomentorsatl