627 kids on waiting list for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It’s been said many times from city leaders; mentoring kids is key to cutting down crime in our city. However,  627 children are currently on the waiting list for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.

Jalen is one of the lucky kids who has a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. One of the things Jalen likes to do is eat pizza with his big Bobby Graingier.

“Sometimes he helps me with my homework and we have fun,” said Jalen.

There’s no deep philosophical talks going just a few hours a month working on Bobby’s car or running errands together.

“He’s really shy. I try to get him to talk about girls sometimes but he won’t,” said Bobby.

It’s simply a relationship with a guy.

“All girls live in my house,” said Jalen.

He met Bobby four years ago through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.

“It helps me get out of the house and not just sit around all day and just not see the same things every day,” said Jalen.

“Everybody has something to offer somebody. If you’re not an active person maybe it’s along the lines of homework and helping out in that area,” said Bobby.

Because Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana says it’s not about what you’re doing, more the simple fact that somebody’s there.

“What we know for a fact is that kids who have someone to encourage them, to help them build a positive vision for their future and develop some confidence and self esteem and doing what’s good for them, will do better in school. They will stay out of trouble and they’ll develop into positive caring adults,” said Darcey Palmer-Shultz, CEO of BBBSCI.

Jalen is a great example. He may use his words sparingly, but no less powerfully.

“He helps make my life much better,” said Jalen.

“Everybody needs somebody to look up to I think and you could be that for somebody,” said Bobby.

Of those 627 kids, 66% are boys. 24-Hour News 8 set a goal of getting 20 kids mentors this week.

Click here for more information, or click here to chat with Brooke about it.

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