CBS Chicago: Big Brothers Big Sisters opens new office in Austin neighborhood

By Mugo Odigwe
July 21, 2022

CHICAGO (CBS)-- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago officially opened a new office in the Austin neighborhood.

Their main office is located in West Loop and they wanted their presence felt and seen in other parts of the city, even in the suburbs.

And that's exactly where the new office comes in.

"If you're going to do community work, you got to be in the community," Big Brothers Big Sisters Chicago CEO Jeremy Foster said. "I don't know how else it gets done. You can't be on the sidelines."

The organization matches young people with mentors to help guide them.

The new location in Austin is the second regional office for the agency. It's part of a renewed focus to invest in those communities where many kids who want mentors are still on a waiting list.

Staff helps recruit, train and match potential mentors with Chicago's youth.

CBS 2 spoke with a Big Sister and Little Sister duo about their experience.

"I get to go to all these fun places with like a really nice person," Little sister Alana Williams said.

Leslie Villanueva, the Big Sister to Williams, agreed.

"There's a lot of things that I'm like I used to do when I was younger and I just stopped doing them and it's no nice now to be able to do those activities," Villanueva said.

Growing up, Villanueva said she wishes she had a mentor. She said this is her chance to make a difference.

The ribbon cutting for the new Austin location is set for 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Read more on CBS' website here.