” To provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.” It’s a bold mission statement, but their vision of every child succeeding in life, is even bolder.  William Salcedo, Executive Director, and Marybeth Bull, Director of Development, for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties, presented the program of this organization as well as their current needs.  They focused on Asbury Park, where Big Brothers Big Sisters has served 720 boys and girls this past year, but have 70 kids on a waiting list hoping to connect with an adult mentor. These children come mostly from single-parent, dysfunctional homes.  The major program offered is the Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer program.  The volunteer agrees to be paired with a child aged 6-15 for a commitment of one year.  There is a rigorous background check, lengthy application process before being connected with the child.  The volunteer is assigned a case worker who oversees the arrangement.  And while it may take a while to get through the application process, the experience of being a mentor/supporting adult to a child who has none, is tremendously rewarding; for both the child and the adult.  While this is their major program they also work with: 1) school-based mentoring which is an afterschool program that uses high-achieving high school students; 2) peer-to-peer program thathelps the middle school transition into high school; 3) work place mentoring introduces the participants to a wide variety of jobs; 4) back-on-track, is a court mandated program that shares success stories with a group of 14-18 year olds; and 5) college exposure and encouragement that actually takes potential students to the campuses. In addition, children who are participating in their programs have opportunities for outings such as Six Flags and college football games. The majority of their funding comes from community support, and they organize no less than five events throughout the year.  To be a volunteer, or for more information, see their website: bbbsmmc.org, or contact William at wsalcedo@bbbsmmc.org, 732.444.3540