TJ, an insurance broker and car enthusiast, serves as the president of the Big Impact Group, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Junior Board. Anthony is a 14-year-old freshman at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. TJ and Anthony enjoy working on cars together, playing card games (speed is Anthony’s favorite), attending car shows, and cooking. TJ and Anthony also set positive goals together to prepare for Anthony’s future. These goals include staying out of trouble in school, improving grades, eating healthy, understanding the importance of saving and money management, and developing a strong work ethic and understanding of the correlation between hard work and achieving success. Anthony has said he feels lucky because while Bigs only "have" to spend time with their Little once a month, TJ makes an effort to see him every week, more than some of his family members. Anthony told his mom he is so grateful TJ gives him love, shows him respect, and genuinely cares for him and believes in him. It is clear these two have had a tremendous impact on one another and will continue to strengthen their friendship for many years to come.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City (BBBSKC)
BBBSKC serves at-risk, school aged children in the Kansas City area who live in single parent or non-traditional homes. The organization has grown rapidly since its inception in 1965 and now serves over 1,750 at-risk youth annually. BBBSKC provides youth with impactful, professionally supported one-on-one relationships with mentors that help the youth gain confidence, leadership skills, and a steady role model. In addition to mentorships, BBBSKC provides support to parents to connect them with resources to improve their own situations.
With the support of tax credits through the Department of Economic Development's Youth Opportunity Program (YOP), BBBSKC will achieve the following outcomes:
• 380 of 400 at-risk youth enrolled in the program will be on track to proceed to the next grade and report improved academic performance and attitude toward school since being paired with a mentor.
• 340 of 400 at-risk youth participating in the program will report no Juvenile Court contact since being matched with an adult volunteer.
• 150 at-risk youth will be newly matched with a mentor during the project period.
To learn more about how YOP helps organizations serve at-risk youth across Missouri, click here.