The Avedis Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma Inc. (BBBSOK) to fund one-to-one mentoring to Shawnee-area children.

The Avedis Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma Inc. (BBBSOK) to fund one-to-one mentoring to Shawnee-area children.

Through community and school-based matches, BBBSOK provides its one-to-one mentoring services.

Throughout the length of the relationship, matches receive regular support from BBBSOK’s professionally-trained program specialists to promote positive outcomes, a long and healthy match, and child safety.

The goal of BBBS has remained the same for over 100 years — to match one caring, stable and positive role model with one at-risk child.

With their match, the child can experience the consistency and positive influence of a one-to-one relationship with a Big (adult mentor) who chooses to spend quality time with his or her Little (child mentee).

“Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth,” Nikki Rieves, area director for BBBSOK, said. “This statement I take personally; because this is my community and my mission to help our children locally.”

She said she has seen firsthand that matching a child with a professionally-supported mentor changes the trajectory of his/her life forever.

“I cannot make a difference without the support of our community through funds that are donated, or in the form of grants,” she said. “Our children are worth every penny and every moment an adult is willing to step up and be there and believe in them.”

BBBSOK is so blessed to have been awarded a grant from the Avedis Foundation that will help us not only continue to support our current matches, Rieves said, but to serve more children and make more matches possible.

“The Avedis Foundation is honored to provide this grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma to benefit and impact the lives of Shawnee children,” Avedis Foundation President and CEO Kathy Laster said. “We are fortunate to have a local director — in Nikki Rieves — and her board, working diligently to support and enhance the quality of life for children in our community.”

For more information about The Avedis Foundation, visit avedisfoundation.org or call (405)273-4055.

For more information about BBBSOK, visit bbbsok.org or call (405) 395-2788.