Big Brothers Big Sisters to Partner with American Oromo Community of Minnesota for New Oromo Mentoring Program – A First of its Kind in Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAINT PAUL, MN, September, 26, 2012 – Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities (BBBS) is proud to announce an exciting new program into its mentoring repertoire. In partnership with the American Oromo Community of Minnesota, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Oromo Mentoring Program matches adult mentors (mentors are 50% Oromo, 50% non-Oromo) (college students and working professionals) with Oromo youth (between the ages of 9 and 12) to play games and activities designed to develop the strengths and assets of the child. An East-African ethnic group, most people are unaware of whom the Oromo are; and that the largest population of stateside Oromos live in the Twin Cities. In Africa, the Oromo can be found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and parts of Somalia.

In its first year, Oromo Mentoring Program’s goal is to create 30 (20 matches the first year, 40 matches by year 2) matches, with a match consisting of an adult mentor and a youth. Mentors will be recruited mainly from Oromo college students at local colleges and universities, and all mentors will receive nationally approved BBBS training. “I think this program will absolutely benefit Oromo youth. In my own personal experience, having someone there to guide me through the education system, whether answering questions or helping me apply for scholarships, has been invaluable,” said Najaha Musse, BBBS Oromo Program Coordinator. The weekly, 90-minute program will be held Friday afternoons at the Ober Community Center at 376 Western Avenue in Saint Paul.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Oromo Mentoring Program seeks to increase youth competencies, confidence, and capacity for caring – the same key developmental assets that are standards for all of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring initiatives. The Oromo Mentoring Program is made possible with support from The Sheltering Arms, Bigelow, and Marbrook Foundations.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”).

Janine Mullins
Director of Communications & Public Relations
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities
2550 University Ave W, Suite 410N • St. Paul, MN 55114
Tel: 651-789-2466   Fax: 651-789-2499
jmullins@bigstwincities.org | www.bigstwincities.org
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