Imagine a world where everyone was the same; it seems pretty dull, right? Here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, we believe in the importance of diversity in our mentorships between Bigs and Littles.
Diversity within BBBSU
Last year, we had 1,001 kids enrolled in our three programs. Of these 1,001 children across Utah, 82 percent live in poverty, 60 percent are kids of color, 47 percent live in a single-parent household, and 10% have an incarcerated parent. They range in age from elementary to high school — 41 percent are in elementary school, 20 percent are in middle school, and the other 39 percent are in high school. By becoming a Big, you can expand your and your Little’s outlook on cultural differences, engage in volunteer activities in Utah together, and become a reliable figure in that child’s life.
Dr.Elizabeth A. Segal, in her article, “Why We Need Diversity,” explains how across the board, whether that be someone’s physical health or workplace, diversity increases both mental and physical well-being. Dr. Segal describes how, just as a well-balanced, diverse meal or workout plan would be suitable for your health, hearing opinions and stories from people of different backgrounds will help broaden one’s perspectives and present them with new ideas. “Diversity brings in new ideas and experiences, and people can learn from each other. Bringing in different ideas and perspectives leads to better problem-solving.” The diversity between Bigs and Littles at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah allows both child and adult to expand their thinking and be open-minded and empathic to different cultural ways of living.
In his article, “Why Diversity without Inclusion in Worthless,” Dr. Scott Dust warns of the potential damage that can come from a lack of inclusion: “At its core, inclusion is about feeling socially accepted. When individuals report feeling left out from participating in activities, initiatives, and projects, they tend to report lower levels of social inclusion. Further, those reporting lower levels of inclusion commonly state that they feel like they are outsiders or that they are having a hard time breaking into the ‘in-group.’” Dr. Dust continues to explain that the way society breaks these feelings of “otherness” is by creating opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds or beliefs to get involved and feel included.
Contact us today at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah to become a Big, get involved, learn more about volunteer opportunities in Utah, and discover the true importance of diversity.