DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Department of Justice has awarded a $40,000 federal grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami Valley Chapter.
“Every dollar is important,” says Amy Kettner, the Philanthropy Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Any time you can get a federal grant like this one is a really big win for an organization.”
The $40,000 grant will go to help support about 30 matches in the program.
“Matches are when we match up a big brother or a big sister with a little,” explains Kettner.
It works as a mentoring program, pairing at risk youth with a role model. The program has 520 matches this year. The goal is to increase academic performance, reduce substance abuse, and set children on the right path for the future.
“We just give them lots of support, make sure everything is going well, and track how the match is going,” says Kettner.
Kettner says on average, relationships last about three years, but lessons last a lifetime.
“We’ve also followed up with big brothers big sisters that have had their littles in their weddings, that are still getting parenting advice from their bigs — they last a lifetime really,” smiles Kettner.
The Department of Justice awarded 95 other agencies across 42 states grants.