Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern New Mexico merged in January 2015 to become Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region.
The two nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring that New Mexico youth achieve success in life are now more capable than ever in meeting their goals.
It’s a new name, but the impact remains: starting incredible one-to-one relationships built on trust and friendship that can blossom into a future of unlimited potential. The two organizations, which have a combined 71 years of experience, currently serve nearly 1,100 local youngsters and their families by pairing adult mentors, “Bigs” with at-risk children, “Littles” ages 5 through 18.
As the two organizations merge, they will share a single strategy in order to best serve the state’s youth in 17 counties.
“We believe this will benefit kids from both the northern and southwestern parts of the state,” Mountain Region CEO Andrea Fisher Maril said. “By centralizing financial and administrative services we’ll be able to match more kids in life-changing relationships with caring, committed, carefully screened mentors.”
Doña Ana/Grant County Regional Director Dawn Starostka will be looking to strengthen and continue community relationships in the southwestern part of state, while overseeing the organization that before the merger was named Nonprofit Agency of the Month by the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce in October 2014.
“Doña Ana and Grants County are a welcome addition to our newly named BBBS Mountain Region,” said Dawn Brown, regional director of Los Alamos/Rio Arriba Counties. “Our goals remain strong in Rio Arriba and Los Alamos Counties. We have a common purpose to make a positive impact in the lives of youth.”
Research has shown positive relationships between Bigs and Littles have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives. Youth in the program perform better in school, are able to get along better with their families and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.
The relationship doesn’t just benefit children.
“By far, my favorite part of the program is hanging out with my Little,” said Doña Ana/Grant County regional board president Lucas Peerman, a Big for two years. “We have a blast together, whether we’re shooting hoops, going for a hike, or watching funny videos on YouTube. I now have the brother I always wished for growing up as an only child and seeing the positive influence I’m making in his life is icing on the cake.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region can now pool resources and ideas to develop more meaningful relationships across the Land of Enchantment.
“By pairing our agencies we’ll be able to pair more Bigs and Littles, changing more lives for the better forever. It’s a win-win for all,” Maril said.