Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters (JBBBS) recently launched an LGBTQ+ pilot program, which pairs LGBTQ+ youth with LGBTQ+ identified mentors (21-plus) who can uniquely empathize and support youth through similar lived experiences. JBBBS is actively recruiting both adult LGBTQ+ mentors and LGBTQ+ youth between the ages of 6-18 who are interested in participating.

Mentors make a twice-a-month commitment, mostly on weekends, for at least one year. Catch up on a conversation, explore your community, have some fun and make a lasting impact. During COVID-19, matches meet virtually and in person, only when comfortable, under the Massachusetts and CDC guidelines for social distancing and safety. Volunteers typically provide transportation for their Littles.

The impact of these relationships can be life-changing. LGBTQ+ mentors may be role models for identity development, resilience and help their Littles explore strategies to overcome stigma and bias. Mentors may also provide a positive sense of self and increased ease with one’s identity. In-person mentoring relationships may serve an important protective role for LGBTQ+ youth, helping them to confront challenges such as lack of acceptance from peers and parents. In particular, transgender and gender non-conforming youth have reported that having identity-affirming support has increased resilience, self-advocacy skills and shown improved career and educational goals.

Mentor training and clinical match support will be provided. Our community includes people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, races, religions and backgrounds.

This post has been contributed by a third party. The opinions, facts and any media content are presented solely by the author, and JewishBoston assumes no responsibility for them. Want to add your voice to the conversation? Publish your own post here. MORE