Big Brothers Big Sisters Junior High
The MD Ambassadors Big Brothers Big Sisters Junior High Program matches first and second year MD students with junior high students identified as individuals who could benefit from the extra support of a mentor. The student pairs meet once per week (Wednesday evenings) and participate in various activities including sports, group games, arts and crafts, cooking, and one-on-one conversation time. We also bring the mentees on several outings across the city, allowing them to gain new experiences and create memories with their medical student mentors. This is an extremely impactful program that offers an opportunity for at-risk youth in the community to develop positive relationships and interpersonal skills, as well as to have a positive role model and support person in their life.
Mentoring provides medical students with a platform to volunteer their time and skills in order to make a positive impact in their communities. This helps them develop an enhanced awareness of how social determinants can impact an individual, while also providing an outlet to participate in enjoyable activities and improve their school-life balance. Students have the opportunity to interact with children from diverse ethnicities, SES, and family situations, which helps them gain empathy and a greater understanding of the lives of others. Further, students get to practice their communications skills in order to build rapport and appropriate relationships with their mentee. Over the course of the year, students will be able to reflect on the impact they have made by being a supportive and non-judgmental mentor, which is a lesson that they can carry forward to their future careers and patient interactions.
Christine Hyde and Lucas Janz