Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont needs male volunteers

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont is looking for men to help keep eighth-grade boys on track.

The non-profit is launching a male mentoring initiative at Johnson Street Global Studies called “8 to Great.”

The initiative provides mentors to work with the boys from their eighth-grade year through high school.

“My assistant principal and I have a really good relationship with these students, but there's some messages and some lessons that we can't necessarily have with them, and so we wanted to provide that positive male role model that could help them as they become young men,” Johnson Street Global Studies Principal Kris Wheat said.

Eight boys in the eighth grade will be matched with an on-site mentor.

The only thing the school and the nonprofit are waiting on now is getting enough men willing to make a difference.

“I believe that a lot of times men tend to think it's going to be a little more difficult than what it really is,” said Patrick Medley, director of site-based mentoring for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont.

The visits would include spending time with the boys by helping with school work and building a bond through other interests.

“They need some reinforcement, they need some support, they need to feel safe and need to feel like they can make it,” Medley said.

Mekhie Gary is one of the eighth-grade students waiting on a match.

He hopes a mentor will like hobbies that he enjoys.

"Sometimes they could come during practice on Fridays at basketball practice or we could come in here and go on the computers,” he said.

Medley doesn’t want men to overthink the commitment.

“Two small hours a month can equal a lifetime of love,” he said.

If you or someone you know would be a good fit for the “8 to Great” mentoring program, contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont at (336) 882-4167.

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