By Stuart C. Melvin
2017 Kentuckiana Big Brother of the Year
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Since the tragic killing of Dequante Hobbs May 23, several ideas have been offered to combat the violence in our city. Another one to consider is mentoring.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana is celebrating 50 years of successful matches with a goal of serving 4,000 children by the year 2020. Adults are screened and matched with kids to create long-lasting, life-changing, one-to-one relationships that are based on trust and friendship.
As a Big Brother, I have seen the difference in my little brother, Zamil Murphy. Mentoring improves a child's social acceptance, their interpersonal skills, and scholastic competence. The difference mentoring makes is so obvious in my little brother Zamil's life with his choices and decision-making.
If one child's life can be changed, that child will positively impact their friends and their family, and then the neighborhood, the schools, our community, and ultimately the culture. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides the infrastructure to ensure long-lasting relationships with positive outcomes simply by having a non-relative adult spend quality time with that child.
There is no one solution to this problem. We should deploy every available resource beyond prayer, to include, meaningful dialogue, economic development, the Boys and Girls Club, and one-on-one mentoring. You may find local mentoring opportunities at your church. If not, log on to www.bbbsky.org. Volunteer as a Big Brother or Big Sister, enroll your child or support us financially.
It's going to take a commitment from families, people, and government, to change this culture. Mentoring will allow us to change it one child at a time.