NEWS ROOM

A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

February 2024

Hello Friend!
 
When I was a senior in college, two of my roommates were computer majors. I assured myself that I would never need to work on a computer since I was going into human services. Brilliant insight, I know. In my defense, it was 1985. Purple Rain, anyone? Currently, I have no less than 12 platforms for an electronic message and at least nine ways to have a video call. That is generations away from the party-line telephone that we had back on the farm. It was high-tech at the time because the cord was so long that we could weave our way down the basement steps in an attempt for some privacy.
 
Today’s youth are navigating a world of information in a way that I could never have imagined. Given I didn’t think I would ever use a computer, that is easy to deduce. Our youth are challenged with having so much access - and trying to figure out how to manage that access. Despite all of the access, they are still in high need of mentorship. In today’s digital age, our mission takes on a new dimension. We recognize the importance of bridging the gap between technology and mentorship. Our youth need guidance to navigate the online world safely, but also harness the power of technology for their personal and professional growth.
 
One form of technology that is predicted to dominate 2024 is AI (artificial intelligence), such as ChatGPT. We’re moving so fast that the AI of Jan. 1 will not be the AI of Dec. 31 this year.
 
I asked ChatGPT how our youth can benefit from technology and mentors, and this is the response I received:
 
"In the digital age, mentors are essential in guiding young individuals through the complexities of online platforms, fostering digital literacy, and promoting responsible online behavior. They address issues such as cyberbullying, privacy concerns, and the impact of social media on mental health.
 
Technology offers diverse career possibilities, but many youth may feel uncertain about their paths. Mentors provide valuable insights, share experiences, and offer guidance on pursuing tech careers, aiding youth in setting realistic goals and informed decisions.
The constant connectivity of the digital era can impact the emotional well-being of youth. Mentors offer a compassionate presence, providing support in navigating online challenges, social comparison, and the pressure to curate a digital persona. Open communication helps develop resilience and a healthy perspective.
 
Mentors play a key role in building confidence and leadership skills, essential attributes in the fast-paced tech industry. Through encouragement, positive reinforcement, and constructive feedback, mentors empower youth to thrive in a technology-driven world."
 
I must agree. I have to go, something is dinging/ringing/buzzing….

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director

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IN THE NEWS

Carter, Stangs Honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters - Sartell Newsleader, Feb. 21, 2024

Sartell Mentor Honored as "Big Sister of the Year" - Sartell Newsleader, Feb. 6, 2024

Minnesota's Big Brother of the Year - Benton County News, Jan. 30, 2024

Minnesota Announces Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year - WJON, Jan. 25, 2024

Big Brothers Big Sisters Making National Mentoring Month Push - KNSI, Jan. 9, 2024

Mentorship Vital for Brighter Future (Letter to the Editor) - The Newsleaders, Jan. 5, 2024

Here's a Big Opportunity for Central Minnesotans to Make A Difference - River 96.7 Website, Jan. 4, 2024

Members of the St. Cloud Crush hockey team donated presents for a BBBS family

Paying It Forward: MN High School Hockey Players Adopt Family - 98.1 Website, Dec. 21, 2023

Pierz Native Named SCSU Alumni Service Award Winner - Morrison County Record, Sept. 22, 2023

Putnam Honored by BBBS of Central Minnesota- KNSI, Aug. 29, 2023

Stavrum honored with Friend of Youth Award- St. Joe Newsleader, Aug. 25, 2023

Headshot of Emmitt Edwards and Kat and info on Sherburne Cty United Way Podcast

Emmitt Edwards on Aug. 15 Sherburne County Area United Way Podcast - Aug. 15, 2023

Learn About Becoming a Big at Iron Street Tuesday - 98.1 Website, July 31, 2023

Noticing the Impact - Benton County News, July 25, 2023

A group of four people pose for a photo to celebrate Ann Matvick winning a national award. From left: Emily Steinmetz, Ann Matvick, Artis Stevens (BBBSA CEO), Jackie Johnson

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota Program Director Honored - KNSI, June 29, 2023

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota Wins National Award - WJON, June 28, 2023

Leadership from BBBS of Central MN, St. Cloud Tech & Community College, and Sauk Rapids-Rice School District sit around a table after signing a partnership agreement.

SCTCC, Sauk Rapids-Rice Sign BBBS Agreement - St. Cloud Tech Website, May 26, 2023

Abigial Diaz BK Memorial Scholarship Winner 2023

Diaz Receives BriAnna Kruzel Memorial Scholarship - The Patriot, May 18, 2023

2023 Bigs on Campus at St. Cloud State Group

Dr. Potter Bigs on Campus Celebrates Seven Years in 2023 - St. Cloud State Today, May 10, 2023

Nate Molitor 2023 Central Minnesota Big Brother of the Year

Molitor Honored as Statewide Big Brother of the Year - St. Joe Newsleader, April 7, 2023

Matthew Rothfork and Gavin - 2023 HS Big Brother of the Year

Several Local People Honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota - St. Cloud Live, March 3, 2023

Nate Molitor 2023 Big Brother of the Year and Little Brother Justin

Three St. Cloud Residents Earn Big, Little of the Year Honors - WJON, Feb. 28, 2023

Target Circle Customers Can Support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota - KNSI, Feb. 27, 2023

Sartell-St. Stephen High School Bigs 2023 Sartell-St. Stephen High School Bigs 2023

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota is recognizing Sartell-St. Stephen High School Bigs - Sartell Newsleader, Feb. 3, 2023

Holdingford High School Bigs 2023

Big Brothers Big Sisters Successful in Holdingford - Morrison County Record, Jan. 13, 2023

Pierz High School Big Brothers 2023 Pierz High School Big Sisters 2023

Pierz Big Brothers and Sisters Recognized as Part of National Mentor Month - Morrison County Record, Jan. 27, 2023

ABATE GBFK Bowling Event 2023

Bowling for Kids Sake - Patriot News MN, Jan. 31, 2023

Big Brothers Big Sisters Increasing College Presence - KNSI, Dec. 12, 2022

A New BIG Partnership - ISD742 Website, Nov. 7, 2022

BIG Partners Initial Meeting Oct. 2022

BIG Partners Launches to Mentor District 742 Students - KNSI, Nov. 3, 2022

Central MN Big Brothers Big Sisters Gets Big Donation - KNSI, Oct. 26, 2022