United for 60: Big Brothers Big Sisters

For 60 years, United Way of Southern Nevada has been improving lives by supporting nonprofit organizations throughout Southern Nevada. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada is one such organization that is helping children in our community lead better lives.

Big Brother Dustin and his Little Brother Robert have been matched for 3 years.   When they started their match, Little Brother had academic challenges, and had no positive male role models in his home.

Robert was a withdrawn youth, but with great potential.  Over the years, Dustin has offered consistent and patient mentoring skills.  He accepted Robert for where he was at, but regularly helped and pushed him to achieve more.

Today, Robert is a successful student with online schooling.  His interests in life have begun to show themselves.  He is now a teen, with thoughts of higher education and Dustin is helping him investigate programs.  His Big Brother is seeing him through having his first girlfriend, and building his confidence socially and emotionally.  Together they share sporting, academic and cultural activities.  Robert will soon age out of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, but his relationship with Dustin will carry on for many years.

It takes consistent funding from valuable community partners such as United Way of Southern Nevada and the many donors who designate Big Brothers Big Sisters with their generous contributions to keep matches such as this supported for years.

Participants share their thoughts on how it made them feel to have a Big or Little:

"I love this program because I feel as if my Big Sister were my real sister because every time I see her, she treats me like that. So other kids should try it because they will love it like me." Nona, 10 years old

"I feel that my Big Brother is very fun and helpful to me because he always helps me with my homework and explains to me if I don't understand. This is a great program that is helping me and other kids to get a better education. We always have fun with the activities we do and the events you invite us." Jesus, 11 years old

"We have a relationship in which he is open to share and talk about difficulties at school and home and where he is willing to learn from what I have to share. My little is bright, cheery and a pleasure to spend time with. It is a great way to make a difference in someone who can use it and also to change myself." Nicholas, Age 25

"I am so proud of my Little Sister. She never ceases to amaze me and make me laugh. She is very easy-going whether we decide to do flash cards and read with our time together or we do something more fun like see a movie or play.  I am very proud to be a Big Sister and think it is one of the most rewarding things I do in my week." Shay