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Big Brothers, Big Sisters Calgary calls for more mentors as waitlist grows

Click to play video: 'Big Brothers, Big Sisters Calgary calls for more mentors as waitlist grows' Big Brothers, Big Sisters Calgary calls for more mentors as waitlist grows
Non-profit mentorship program Big Brothers, Big Sisters Calgary pairs youngsters with local role models, giving them someone to talk to and share experiences with. As Tiffany Lizée reports, the right match can be a life-changing opportunity – Apr 1, 2021

The non-profit mentorship program in Calgary is in need of more volunteers as hundreds of kids are hoping for a match, with some waiting years.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters pairs youngsters with a local role model, giving them someone to talk to and share experiences with.

Read more: Ten-year-old Calgary boy waiting years for Big Brother as program faces volunteer shortage

Ellie Luscombe, 9, was matched with a mentor through her school when she was in Grade 2.

Her mom, Shandice, said before Ellie joined the program, she was having issues making friends.

“It’s definitely increased her social skills within the school,” Shandice said. “It’s helped her to feel more confident in creating more friendships with other students, and just to really help her with feeling comfortable.”

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Ellie Luscombe, 9, has been in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program for several years and having a constant person to look up to has helped her come out of her shell, making her more comfortable and confident in school. Global News

But it’s not only Ellie who’s excited about the get-together each week, it’s something her mentor, Alana Humphreys, looks forward to as well.

“There’s always something that I take away from it,” Humphreys said.

Ellie was Humphreys’ first match through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and over the years she’s been able to watch Ellie’s personality blossom.

Alana Humphreys says her Little Sister, Ellie Luscombe, is a super creative, extremely caring and warm-spirited kid, and she looks forward to their weekly dates. Global News

“There’s been a lot of wonderful learning and growth and changes that I’ve seen within her,” Humphreys said.

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She hopes others will take the leap and become a role model to one of the many kids waiting for their mentor.

“I would encourage anyone and everyone that… if there was even just like a hint of intrigue, to follow that. Because someone out there… you really could make an impact on their life,” Humphreys said.

Shandice Luscombe, Ellie’s mom, says seeing how the positive impact the mentorship program has had on her daughter has brought “great happiness” to her life. Global News

Shandice said she is incredibly grateful for the bond her daughter and Humphreys share and hopes it will become a lifelong friendship.

“This has been an amazing experience for her. And I just really hope that they can continue to have this relationship because it’s been nothing but positive,” Shandice said.

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If you’re interested in signing up to be a mentor through the school-based program, or traditional community program, visit the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Calgary and Area website for information on how to apply.

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