What if you had a chance to make a difference in a child’s life every week? What if you could be responsible for just one more smile or one more laugh to someone in need?
ACCESS is a big brother/big sister mentoring program that focuses on providing mentoring opportunities to BYU student volunteers. Volunteers are trained to be mentors for at-risk children (ages 4-12) in the Provo/Orem area. Volunteers are paired up in boy/girl partnerships which are each assigned one child in the community. Once a week the partnership visits their “mentee” and do an uplifting activity together.
ACCESS exists to serve the children in our community who need extra encouragement or attention due to circumstances out of their control (mental or physical disability, difficult at-home situation, etc.). Typically, the children are referred to ACCESS by school or community social workers that believe mentors could make a positive impact on these children. ACCESS also provides meaningful weekly service opportunities to BYU students.
This program has experienced huge success in the past couple years. In a two year time, ACCESS has gone from reaching approximately fifteen children in the community to providing mentors for over forty children (That’s 80+ mentors!). The ACCESS program, along with its Program Directors and volunteers, strives to continue to grow and reach even more kids in the community.
The magic of the program rests in each partnership and the individual efforts of each volunteer. One of the ACCESS volunteers talks about one of her weekly activities:
My favorite activity we probably did was one that wasn’t even planned. We had gone to Nickel City that day (she got THREE jackpots! Probably the luckiest girl in the world!) and had to bring Katie back early for a piano recital of hers, which her mother had asked if we would like to come to. Everyone at the recital was either parents or performers, but not us. We had the opportunity to be Katie’s personal cheerleading squad that day 🙂 she was amazing!
– Kylee & Jonathan
Read more about ACCESS and how to volunteer on the program page!