Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada matches volunteer mentors from our community with at-risk youth living below the poverty line. By building their friendship, we see big improvements in a child's social and academic success. Take Tanner and Carson: Little Brother Carson, 12, and Big Brother Tanner were matched in January 2020. These two enjoy discussing life and school, riding bikes at Rancho San Rafael Park, jumping at Fly High, and singing and dancing to their favorite songs.
Tanner is always there to encourage and support Carson, something that he learned from his own mentor, his father. “[My father’s] outlook on life and his way of making any activity fun and rewarding is something that will forever be instilled in me,” says Tanner. “My favorite thing about being matched with my Little is how we both have fun no matter what we are doing. It doesn’t matter if we’re driving somewhere or we’re getting lunch, we are always joking and laughing.”
Carson says that from Tanner he has learned to be outside more, and that his Big Brother has helped him accomplish new outdoor activities. In return, Tanner says that his Little Brother teaches him about video games, new slang, and new music.
Carson is beyond proud of Tanner. “My favorite thing about my Big is that he’s a firefighter and he is really fun,” says Carson. Carson describes his Big Brother as “his perfect match and his perfect person,” and gushes that Tanner is exactly who he wants to be when he grows up: a cool and fearless firefighter.
Carson loves visiting the fire station with Tanner and imagining himself working there one day. Carson now knows so much about all of the different vehicles and equipment Tanner uses at work, and loves to share what Tanner has taught him. “My Big being a firefighter means that he is brave,” says Carson.
“Being a firefighter has many advantages, one of them being that I’m surrounded by some of the most incredible people I have ever had the honor of meeting,” says Tanner. “Being surrounded by these people daily, I always have my Little Brother in mind and hope that I can be a role model, mentor, and most importantly friend, just like the outstanding people I work with.” For the future, Tanner says “I hope my Little continues being the kind, considerate, and loving kid he is now and into adulthood.”
Carson’s mom, Tammila, says that her son having a Big Brother who is a first responder means the world to her. “It is inspirational to my son, as he has hoped to be a firefighter or rescue personnel someday,” says Tammila. “It is a blessing from God. Thank you!”
Learn more about our "Bigs with Badges" program, which recruits first responders as mentors, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQIgREBrMWo