Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony in partnership with Westside Health Authority at its new West Side location in Austin, celebrating the organization’s much-needed presence in a community with a need for more mentors.
This will mark the second regional office for the metro Chicago agency; its first location opened in Englewood in 2019 as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ strategic plan to invest in communities where the majority of its waitlisted youth reside.
Right now, one in three children across Chicagoland are growing up without a mentor. And hundreds are currently waiting to be matched with a Big Brother or Sister.
“As an organization, we are focused on bringing life-changing mentoring relationships to each and every Chicagoland neighborhood through our Drive for 5 strategy … (that) will enable BBBSChi to reach 5,000 matches – more than doubling the number of children and families we serve,” CEO Jeremy Foster said in a statement.
“We know that mentorship is proven to have a profound and lasting impact on children’s lives and has the power to transform communities: countering violence with opportunity, isolation with connection and negative influences with positive role models.
“Our presence will bring stronger awareness of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the community, allowing us to better partner with organizations on the West Side, be more inclusive of the voices of the children and families we serve, and assist BBBSChi as we recruit more potential volunteers who are looking to make a difference and deepen their impact,” the CEO said.
“This new office on Chicago’s West Side provides a critical resource for children to realize their potential through mentorship and is the perfect example of our ongoing commitment towards an inclusive society,” Rob Hallberg, managing director of commercial banking at BMO, said in a statement.
Brad Serlin, president of Cicero-based United Scrap Metal, added, “Our mission at United Scrap Metal is making a positive impact in the lives of others, and we are honored to partner with BBBSChi in support of their West Side expansion.”