YOU IGNITE POTENTIAL: A Mother’s Perspective

October 26, 2019 , Jennifer Severson

Missi is a single mother of three children. She’s always busy juggling full-time work, kids’ school activities and family time. Two years ago, Missi decided her sons needed another caring adult in their corner.

“As a single mother, I want them to have a trusting man in their lives,” Missi said. Like many other parents, Missi turned to a familiar name so her boys would have good male role models.

“I feel like I’ve always known about Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

Missi wanted her oldest son ViShon, who’s now 10, to gain confidence in trying new things – and to realize the potential she saw in him.

“ViShon only has me to build him up and I wanted him to have his own person to help him see what I saw,” Missi said. “It is me against three children; I can’t do everything and teach them other things they may be interested in. Having someone not related to us that has the boys’ backs and a Big they can each hang out with is huge for a little guy’s self-esteem.”

ViShon was matched with Big Brother Namue in July 2018. Although both like to “read and eat,” Namue is in to outdoor activities like rock climbing, skiing and kayaking; perfect confidence-builders for an active boy.

Big Brother Namue and Little Brother ViShon on a recent outing. The pair has also gone rock climbing and worked on school project together.

One of Namue’s first text messages to Missi read, “ViShon was great at rock climbing today! I think we found the perfect thing to help him work on his confidence… He even said in the car, ‘All I needed to do was believe in myself when I wanted to quit.’”

Enrolling Hok

Missi enrolled Hok, her youngest son, shortly after he turned eight years old. Because of the shortage of Big Brothers near their home, Hok has been waiting for a Big Brother for over 200 days.

“They are very different boys. ViShon is very easy going while Hok is the quintessential baby of the family,” Missi said. “I am looking forward to someone being able to do sports stuff with him like throw the football around while teaching him more of the rules and skills. Hok is insecure about being small for his age. I’d like him to be confident that he can use that as an advantage with sports.”

Support from Big Brothers Big Sisters

Despite the wait for Hok’s Big Brother, Missi appreciates the support provided by the BBBS Match Team.

“When I’ve asked questions and checked on the status of a Big for Hok, I’ve always received a response. The team thinks of us and includes us all in activities.”

Missi’s advice for parents considering enrolling their child in BBBS: “A mentor can do something for your children that you may have not realized was missing or give them experiences you may have never considered. I wish I’d signed my kids up sooner, but everything happens for a reason.”

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