Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates seniors John Doctor and Paul Johnson for their extraordinary efforts at the Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner



Since 1972, Big Brothers Big Sisters has reached out into the community to make a positive impact in the lives of children. “It’s a mission that our agency would not be able to do without the generosity and efforts of our volunteers. In 2008, the hard work and commitment of our volunteers made it possible to help children by supporting them in more than 1,800 one-to-one matches. And that’s not all. We were also able to serve more than 400 additional children, who are currently on the waiting list for a new mentor, through additional youth programming.”

While a majority of Big Brothers and Big Sisters mentors are over the age of 18, the agency has a unique program called First Mentors that recruits high school students to be matched with elementary students on the waiting list. They are extremely grateful to Bishop Luers High School for being one of the first high schools to participate in the First Mentors Program. First Mentors is an important program where high school students get their first experience in mentoring and children can get their first exposure in developing a new relationship, as well as see how fun high school can be.

During the 2008-2009 school year there were 30 Bishop Luers students who participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters First Mentors Program. Their dedication to spending one-on-one time with a child has brightened the spirits and dreams of those who are our future, and their continued service does not go unnoticed.

At last month’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner, two Bishop Luers students were recognized for their extraordinary efforts and dedication to the First Mentors Program. Seniors John Doctor and Paul Johnson, who have been First Mentors since 2007, were each nominated for the “First Mentor of the Year” award.

Both young men have a great relationship and truly understand what it means to mentor a child. This year’s recipient was Bishop Luers Senior Paul Johnson for his work with his Little Brother Addam. Paul said, “I have come to understand that my actions around Addam have a strong influence on him. It has made me more aware of how my actions affect others to the point where I strive to be a person who influences people in a positive manner.” Paul’s parents were there with him that evening when he received his award – and it was easy to see why his Little Brother Addam was all smiles as he sat with Paul at the event.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is thankful to have such wonderful volunteers like John and Paul who put themselves out there to give their time to a child in need of a friend. They also shout out a “Big Thanks” to Bishop Luers High School for their continued support now and in the many years to come.

If you are interested in becoming a part of something “BIG,” Bishop Luers students can contact Ms. Briggs, Key Club Moderator, to learn how to get involved in the First Mentors Program.

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters or how you can volunteer and become a “Big.” contact the agency at 260-456-1600 or visit them on the web at

The Waynedale News Staff
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