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Club & Greek

Join PRSSA as Big Brothers Big Sisters

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many will be showing they care with flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, and other lavish expressions. Despite the barrage of hearts and cards around us, spreading love can go beyond romance.

Love can manifest in helping others and volunteering towards changing someone’s life for the better.

Serving solely non-profit clients, Monmouth University’s PRSSA and Shadow PR Firm has established a community presence that continues to grow stronger in its eighth year and seeks to build upon the core values of promotion, planning, and prosperity for clients and students.

One non-profit with a heart that Shadow PR promotes is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal &Northern New Jersey(BBBS), serving children facing adversity, especially between ages 6-15, by providing mentorship programs.

Have you ever thought about becoming a mentor?

 For the past 44 years, BBBS of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties has been helping children realize their potential and build their futures. Based in Asbury Park, the non-profit is the closest volunteer organization to Monmouth University’s campus that provides mentorship services.

Anthony Varlese, a Monmouth graduate student completing an MA in Communication with a certificate in Strategic Public Relations and Social Media, commented on the benefits of having a mentor, regardless of age, “You get to learn so much from someone who has the experience and dedication to help you achieve your goals. Mentors provide insight into helping you see your true potential, and the more knowledge you can apply, the more you will gain to pay forward.”

BBBS provides one-on-one mentoring with positive guidance and support to enhance a child’s ability to become a confident, competent, and caring adult. Also offered is a College Mentoring program, in which college students can volunteer to advise a high school student. This relationship developed provides high-schoolers the opportunity to experience working within a major, college life, and the importance of never losing sight of their dreams.

 The bonds mentors and mentees form have the power to change the lives of both volunteers and children, even in as little as four to six hours a month.

 William Salcedo, BBBS Coastal and Northern New Jersey Executive Director, stated, “Doing simple activities with your [mentee] can open up a world of possibilities for their future.”

 So, what are some mentor activities? How can one be a mentor on the daily? There are always means to help others in need of guidance on campus, at work, and at home.

 For starters, set goals by writing lists and setting reminders. This can be academically or professionally and can motivate someone to study harder, volunteer more, or continue a hobby that they love. Every victory is a step towards big success, so try to accomplish one small goal a week (for example, finishing a painting, learning a new dance, solving a difficult math problem, or beating a personal record in a sport of choice).

Be honest with your mentee and give constructive criticism when necessary. This does not mean being harsh or dismissive, but it means helping to improve struggles while celebrating successes.

 Another crucial aspect of mentoring is listening. Regardless of your age and skill-set, listen to those who ask for your help before assessing a situation. Listen to their likes, dislikes, living situations, and how they would like to achieve their ultimate goals. Listening can establish a personal connection and boost understanding between a mentor and a mentee (or, as BBBS would say, a Big and a Little).

 One last tip is to show your mentee how to achieve success and not just tell them. Embody a mentor in positive and reaffirming ways: volunteer, be kind to others and support the aspirations of those around you.

Veronica Lane, a Monmouth alumna from the Class of 2019 with a degree in Communication (PR and Journalism), spoke on her time mentoring during college, “What I loved about being a mentor was seeing how your past can affect someone’s future. For me, being a mentor means providing positive outlooks on situations, pushing mentees to go out of their comfort zone and most importantly being a friend!”

 Becoming a mentor is one of the most enjoyable things you can do to contribute to someone’s future and empower younger generations. When you consider how you want to give love to your community, a great way is to share the knowledge you have as a student and an ally.

Be sure to join the PRSSA and Shadow PR Firm in their Valentine’s Day Bake Sale supporting BBBS of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties on February 20th, 2020. There will be some sweet treats at the Rebecca Stafford Student Center from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, all of which go towards a great cause.  If you are interested in becoming a Big Brother or a Big Sister with BBBS in New Jersey, please visit