JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – For more than 50 years the organization Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped provide kids in Jackson with a mentor. It’s a mission Andrea Parshall says put her on a new course.

“It is impactful. I mean it changed my life.”

Parshall became a big in 2013 after getting a degree as a social worker. Now she’s leading the way to help match kids with a big brother or sister, but right now finding that fit has its challenges.

“We have seen a struggle from volunteerism from Covid. We have about 40 kids waiting for a big and most of those kids are male,” she said.

The group goes through an extensive process to make sure every relationship makes sense. Parshall says it starts with finding common interests but it’s also about giving kids someone they can trust and just hang out with.

“People who like to fish. People who like sports, people who like racing, want to go golfing like to read play video games. I have a little for you.”

For others mentors like Erin Supinsky, she says being a part of the organization has given her a title she never had before, big sister.

“I love the ability to give her interactions or opportunities that she may not have had yet and I love sharing that with her too because the joy of the child is something really different and influential. It’s hard to get that from anything else,” said Supinsky.

Parshall says she’s seen a rise in anxiety and depression in kids, but she knows that by just being there for a kid that can make all the difference.

“The biggest thing to help build resiliency is one trusted person in your life.”

For ways that you can become a big brother or sister we have a link below.