|Updated: 3/14/2013 10:05 am
||Published: 3/13/2013 10:33 pm
There are plenty of challenges for kids, especially, when they feel they have no one to turn to, that’s where Big Brothers Big Sisters steps in.
Right now the organization says with more boys needing guidance there's an urgent need for men to volunteer.
Two thirds of the juveniles in the system come from a single parent home.
"Those kids are five times more likely to end up in jail than their peers," said Brian Carr with Big Brother Big Sisters.
But that's not to say every child loses his way.
"My mom always told me to put school first, everything else second,” said Gage Green.
Green makes straight As and he stays out of trouble, but there's still something missing.
"When my dad died it was rough, because I didn't have a male role model in my life," said Green.
Six years ago, his mom, Tammy, signed him up for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. The original acceptance letter is on the fridge, that's how important it is to them.
"I consider him a true brother," said mentor Josh Huerlan.
The two spend time together several hours every month.
"Knowing Josh has made my life that much better," said Green.
The relationship is a necessary distraction from some of the issues surrounding his peers.
"Drugs, alcohol it’s gotten pretty bad," said Green.
"These are kids that are at risk of getting lost in the system," said Carr.
Carr said Big Brothers, Big Sisters has trouble recruiting men. 70 percent of the kids in the program are boys, fewer than half ever get mentors.
"The one reason is time," said Huerlan.
Huerlan balances his career as a financial advisor with volunteering. He also found the time to encourage Green to pursue his goal of becoming a chef. A plan he says won't be side tracked by distractions.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters has already gained 15 new volunteers this month. The goal is to recruit 30 men in 30 days.