The inaugural group of Game Changers will address the mentorship gap impacting the Black community
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), the preeminent one-to-one youth mentoring organization in the United States, announces Game Changers, a new initiative that unites the collective power of influential leaders and changemakers to help tackle key issues impacting youth today—from mental health to equity—by creating awareness, access, and opportunity through mentorship. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, Game Changers will provide a platform for diverse groups of influential voices to share their experiences and expertise on the power of mentorship and further impact young people and their communities.
Today, one in three kids in America is growing up without a sustained adult mentor in their lives. In addition, over 30,000 young people are on the organization’s national waitlist, with the majority being boys of color, waiting to be matched with a mentor. This urgent need fuels the purpose of Game Changers as an opportunity for influential leaders from diverse backgrounds to reinforce that mentorship isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity.
The inaugural group of Game Changers will convene prominent Black men who embody the transformative power of mentorship. They will support BBBSA’s efforts to attract more Bigs and create mentorship opportunities that address the representational gap in mentorship, as there are currently three times more Black youth than there are Black mentors in BBBS’ programs.
The Game Changers will lend their voices and support to shift the mentorship narrative, share their inspiring journeys and encourage more volunteers, particularly Black men, to get involved. The group of Game Changers includes:
- Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D., President of Virginia State University, BBBSA National Board Member
- Kelvin Beachum, Offensive Tackle, Arizona Cardinals
- Aloe Blacc, Singer, Songwriter, Philanthropist
- Wayne Brady, Emmy Award-winning Actor, Producer, TV Personality, Alumni “Big”
- Kelvin Buncum, Executive Vice President, Neighborhood Markets, Walmart U.S.
- Nate Burleson, Co-Host, CBS Mornings and The NFL Today
- Sway Calloway, Sway in the Morning with Heather B & Tracy G
- Tony Coles, President, Black Information Network, iHeartMedia, BBBSA National Board Member
- “GRIFF”, Comedian, Motivational Speaker, Co-Host of Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell
- Daymond John, CEO & Founder of FUBU and Star of ABC’s Shark Tank
- Solomon Thomas, Defensive Tackle, New York Jets
- Rachaad White, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Alumni “Little”
- Terrance Williams, President and CEO, TruStage
“At BBBSA, we believe in the powerful truth that ‘if you can see it, you can be it’. Each Game Changer embodies the profound impact of mentorship and possesses the power to spark the aspirations of the next generation of leaders.” said Artis Stevens, president and CEO, BBBSA. “By working alongside this inspiring group of influential voices, BBBSA will continue to create access for young people and bridge the gap between young people and possibility. In alignment with BBBSA’s ‘It Takes Little to be Big’ national brand campaign, Game Changers also represents an invitation, a national call-to-action for volunteers, partners, BBBS alumni, and supporters to help spark countless mentoring moments that can make a big difference.”
Future groups of Game Changers will consist of leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to reflect the many inspiring stories and journeys of the young people nationwide who need positive mentorship. They will take bold action around additional priority issues and challenges faced by youth across the country, through the power of mentorship.
BBBSA has also teamed up with industry leaders such as TikTok to amplify the Game Changers’ mentorship stories and rally volunteer support. Additionally, in collaboration with Clear Channel Outdoor, digital billboards spotlighting select Game Changers will launch nationwide in January 2024.
For more information visit www.bbbsgamechangers.org.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Founded in 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is the largest and most experienced youth mentoring organization in the United States. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ evidence-based approach is designed to create positive youth outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and improved relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters has over 230 local agencies serving more than 5,000 communities across all 50 states. For more information, visit: www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org.