Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) of the North Bay, a beneficiary of Auction Napa Valley funding, has a longstanding history of serving the Napa Valley. The first chapter of BBBS of Marin began in 1970 and in 1999 a Napa chapter was added.
I reached out to Lauren Grayman, executive director of the North Bay chapter, to get more information about the organization and how funds from Auction Napa Valley support it’s mission. When we spoke, it quickly became obvious she has deep respect for the organization and what it represents. She also has a personal attachment to the program. She had a “Big Sister,” Julie, who during high school walked her to class and introduced her to people. Julie helped her socialize in her new surroundings and made her feel special and, more importantly, comfortable. Lauren herself became a “Big Sister” her senior year and in college joined the “Big Sibling” group. When she realized the group didn’t have much of a voice, she ran for president and was elected.
I learned from Lauren that youth mentored through the program consistently show marked and lasting improvements in many facets of their lives. Independent research conducted in a landmark study by Public Private Ventures found that:
- 52% of youth enrolled in BBBS mentoring programs feel more confident in their schoolwork,
- 31% have higher educational expectations,
- 41% achieve higher grades in all core subjects,
- 65% reached a higher level of education than they ever thought possible,
- 52% are less likely to skip a day of school and have three times fewer drop outs,
- 46% are less likely to use drugs,
- and overall, students are four times less likely to be arrested or have a teen pregnancy.
When I asked Lauren what part of the organization has benefited most from the Napa Valley Vintners’ donation through Auction Napa Valley, she said “There have been many benefits from the Vintners’ support. One of the key benefits is that being involved with the Auction has given BBBS of the North Bay wonderful exposure to the Napa community. We have been given the opportunity to be involved in this amazing event and it has given us the opportunity to meet new supporters and serve many more youth in Napa.”
BBBS of North Bay is currently seeking “Bigs” to match to the current 15 Napa children waiting for a match, with more still in process. To volunteer check out http://www.bbbsnorthbay.org/.
Learn more about organizations, like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, that are supported by Auction Napa Valley giving.
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