Originally Published: May 24, 2012 9:55 p.m.
Twenty-five percent of America's youth never make it to high school graduation. You can make sure that boys and girls in our community beat these odds and succeed in school and life, simply by becoming a Big Brother, Big Sister or Family Match.
Did you know that matched youths are less likely to skip a day of school or become high school drop-outs? They learn how to make good choices that help them steer clear of drugs and alcohol. Right now, there is a real need for Big Sisters in the Prescott area.
Meet AJ. She lives with her mom, stepdad and her baby sister. AJ really likes school. She says it's like a dream. She likes all of her classes. AJ gets mostly A's B's, and C's. She says her grades are getting better. Besides classes, she really likes the playground because you can do whatever you want. She does her homework at home or on the bus. She gets help with her homework from mom, stepdad and friends. AJ does not often read for fun but she does enjoy reading "Hannah Montana" books. She used to get in trouble at school for talking, but not anymore.
On the weekend, AJ does chores. She does the dishes, cleans up after dogs, takes out the trash and walks the dogs. She also cleans her room and the bathroom.
Things that make AJ happy include playing with her friends, doing funny things, riding her bike, making jewelry and watching television. She gets nervous when she has to perform in plays at school.
If AJ could change something about herself, it would be to change her hair color to purple or blue. Blue is her favorite color. She would like to paint her room blue and purple. AJ says that the best things that have happened to her in her life were seeing Justin Bieber, playing basketball and singing. When she grows up, she wants to be a teacher.
AJ needs a Big Sister who would give her some one-on-one attention. She would be an easy kid to bond with and would like to spend time with her Big Sister learning to cook.
You don't have to change your life to change the life of a young person like AJ. Just a few hours a couple of times a month is enough to make a difference. Research shows that kids matched with a "Big" are almost 40 percent less likely to get arrested compared to all other kids their age. Matched children are also less likely to skip a day of school and less likely to begin using illegal drugs and alcohol. Sign up by calling 778-5135 or visit www.azbigs.org.