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BREAKTHROUGH STUDY FINDS ADULTS MENTORED AS CHILDREN IN BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS ARE BETTER EDUCATED, WEALTHIER & MORE FULFILLED THAN PEERS

PORTSMOUTH, NH, June 28, 2009— A study conducted by Harris Interactive© on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters finds adults mentored as children through Big Brothers Big Sisters are more likely than peers with similar backgrounds but who were not involved in the program to have a four-year college degree, incomes of $75,000 or greater and strong relationships with their spouses, children and friends.

 

These findings were released during Big Brothers Big Sisters at its National Conference sponsored by Comcast in Miami.

 

“The children we serve here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast come from all demographics but by and large regardless of their circumstances are among our communities most vulnerable,” states Tawnee Walling.   “We have known anecdotally that the way our programs provide one-to-one mentoring makes a huge difference in the lives of the children we serve.  This important study conducted by Harris Interactive© proves it.”

 

AMONG THE STUDY’S SPECIFIC FINDINGS:

 

·          Alumni were 27% more likely than non-alumni to have received a four-year college degree (42% of alumni vs. 33% of non-alumni)

·          Alumni were 39% more likely than non-alumni to have current

      household incomes of $75,000 or higher (46% of alumni vs. 33% of non-alumni)

·          Of those who have children, a large majority (82%) feel either extremely or very close to them, compared to 69% of non-alumni

·          A majority of alumni are extremely or very satisfied with their relationships to friends (72%), family (65%), and spouses (62%).  Fewer non-alumni report the same level of satisfaction (46%, 50% and 40% respectively)

·          Approximately two in three (64%) alumni are extremely or very satisfied with life compared to just over one in three (35%) non-alumni

·          A majority of alumni (62%) perceive themselves to have achieved a higher level of success than their peers who were not involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Furthermore, this is twice as many as the 31% of non-alumni who report being more successful than other people they grew up with

·          Adult Littles are more likely than non-alumni to be engaged in their community over the past 12 months, particularly when it comes to volunteering (52% vs 35% respectively) and holding a leadership role in an organization working on an issue (29% vs. 16% respectively)

 

“It is essential that we demonstrate the long-term value of our programs.  Foundations, individuals, corporations and public funders want to invest in programs that are proven to change lives and break the cycle of poverty,” Walling said.

 

A little more than half of the alumni Littles who participated in the study grew up in single parent homes (52%) and described their childhood financial situation as worse off than the average American household (51%).  The Big Brothers Big Sisters alumni reported that having a “Big” in their lives positively influenced their self-confidence, provided stability and changed their perspectives on life,

 

 

taught them new things, influenced aspects of their education, pushing them to set higher goals and make better decisions.

 

 

For the complete study contact Tawnee R. Walling at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast (tawnee.walling@bbbs.org).

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast’s mission is to provide successful mentoring relationships for all children who need them, promoting a brighter future, better schools, and stronger communities. We support children between the ages of 6 and 17 throughout Rockingham and Strafford counties, and have been serving the Seacoast area of New Hampshire since 1977.  If you are interested in becoming a Big or you know a child that could benefit from being a Little, please call 603.430.1140 x. 302 or email billy.gaudet@bbbs.org for more information.

 

 

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