Bobbi Rose Nez: Big Brothers Big Sisters reaches Native youth

Bobbi Rose Nez, left, and her Little Sister. Photo from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona

Bobbi Rose Nez, a member of the Navajo Nation, encourages Native Americans to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America:
I began volunteering 13 years ago with Big Brothers Big Sisters, a non-profit organization that promotes positive mentoring relationships for adults and children ages 6 to 18. The young people, who are referred to as Littles, and their mentors, who are referred to as Bigs, are paired based on a variety of factors including similar interests, proximity and any preferences a Big or Little may have. For example, a Big or a Little and their family may have a preference to match to an individual who has a similar background because it may solidify a deeper bond between the two, a truth I have personally experienced.

Born and raised on the Navajo Nation it has always been important for me to be able to give back to the Native American community so I had a preference to match to a Native Little. I’ve been matched with my current ‘little’ for the past seven years and she is of Navajo and Cheyenne descent and is a registered member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT). Based on our Navajo clan system, we’re cousins and as such, we’re able to connect more easily, discuss our families, cultural practices and desires to give back to our Native communities.

Arizona is home to 22 tribes and four of the Native American communities are located in the Valley. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona (BBBSAZ) is an advocate for acknowledging the rich culture and contributions of the organization’s Native neighbors and has created a Native American Mentoring Initiative that serves our Native American youth and provides a formal mentoring opportunity for Native American high school students and adults.

Get the Story:
Bobbi Rose Nez: This Holiday, Be a Big Brother or Big Sister (Indian Country Today 11/29)

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