By Ryan Crutcher & Josh Goin
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Program is coming to OTC this year through a grant received by a local benefactor, Ozarks Technical Community College officials said.
The Grant is in the amount of $10,000, which helps cover the salary of the primary coordinator of the program at OTC, Match Specialist Chelsea Foresee.
“We hope that with the $10,000, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program will be here longer than one year,” said Dr. LaRaine Bauer, dean of special academic programs. “If the program goes well this year I`m hoping that OTC will continue to pay for Chelsea Foresee so we can keep this program.”
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program is partnered with 15 different schools, Foresee said, and two partnerships are with OTC through the Middle College program.
This program brings up the self-worth of the students who participate in it, Bauer said. Their grades start to go up, and they attend school more often.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Program is a way to connect students and adults outside or inside of school, Bauer said. OTC got a grant for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for $10,000 from the Darr Family Foundation, and Foresee is the one who matches the kids and the adults together.
“They give money each year to improve the lives of children,” Bauer said. “Mr. Darr started the program in 1978.”
In the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, they do various activities with their participating children and teens.
”It just depends on what they like to do, from reading, biking, hiking, to whatever,” Foresee said. “We try and match the kids to an adult that has the same interests.”
There are 106 boys and 148 girls currently enrolled in the program and that have a big brother or a big sister, Foresee said.