Big Brothers Big Sisters Makes a Difference

At one time, Donna endured what no mother should - a fear of her own child. But those feelings have been replaced by pride in Laura, 18.

Today, reports of fights at school have subsided and the teen gets only positive reviews from teachers. For the first time in a while, Laura's obeying the rules - not looking for ways to break them.

Though Donna, a hardworking single parent of four, did her best to deal with the situation, she says Laura's relationship with Barbara, a volunteer from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, made all the difference.

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches volunteer mentors with children who are predominantly from single-parent, low-income families. 

Barbara, a successful business-woman, relied on the cultural background she shared with Laura to make a connection.

She helped Laura cope with problems that caused her to act out, among them the effects of physical abuse that the teen and her brother suffered when their father was in the home.

He is now incarcerated and faces a long-term prison sentence for assault.

Laura's story is one of many that demonstrates the impact Big Brothers Big Sisters has on children, according to two independent, third-parties studies on the organization.

More than half of the children in the program achieve higher grades, while relationships with both peers and adults improve greatly, according to the UPS Foundation Mentoring Study.

At the same time, odds that the children will use drugs, drink alcohol, skip school or become violent drop off, according to the Public Private Venture Impact Study on Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Because of your support of United Way and partner programs, Donna's once-troubled daughter is doing well and the family enjoys a happier and more peaceful home.

To find out more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, click here.

*Names have been changed for confidentiality*