ABC 7 Chicago Proud Interview: Big Brothers Big Sisters, C.H.A.M.P.S Mentoring partner to address shortage of male volunteers

Our CEO Jeremy Foster and C.H.A.M.P.S. Mentoring Founder Vondale Singleton were featured on ABC 7 Chicago discussing our partnership to enroll 100 male mentors in 100 days for youth on our waitlist. Feeling inspired? Click here to sign up to be a CHAMPS Big.

Read the full story below or on the ABC 7 website here.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago (BBBSMC) and C.H.A.M.P.S Male Mentoring are partnering to address an urgent issue across Chicago: a severe shortage of male mentors, particularly men of color. This partnership comes at a time when Chicago needs these mentors more than ever before.

Together, the organizations have set a goal of enrolling 100 men in 100 days to become C.H.A.M.P.S BIGS.

"This partnership was really sparked because of a joint vision we both share to go ALL IN to ignite, empower and defend the potential of young men of color through one-to-one mentorship," said Jeremy Foster, CEO of BBBSMC. "There is a devastating reality for so many youth across Chicago: there are too many negative influences and roadblocks to reaching potential. And there are too many waiting for a mentor."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, volunteerism has hit a record low in the United States, and the need for dedicated defenders of potential is more important than ever before. Big Brothers Big Sisters has a growing waitlist of boys who are eager to be matched with a mentor.

On average, the children on the waitlist are 10 years old, 69 percent are male, and 66 percent are black. Because of the unique needs of this group of "Littles" - including its demographic makeup and what the agency knows about factors for successful Big/Little relationships - they are working to increase the number of black male "Bigs".

"The power of mentorship transformed my life, and I believe collaborating with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago will help accelerate the work of C.H.A.M.P.S. by integrating mentoring that will change the narrative and shift the culture for our boys and young men of color," said Vondale Singleton, Founder of C.H.A.M.P.S Male Mentoring Program.

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