Entrepreneur to run 10km in 10 Cities Worldwide for YMCA Big Brothers Big Sisters
2013 marks the 10th anniversary of YMCA Perth delivering the internationally renowned youth mentoring program Big Brothers Big Sisters. To commemorate the anniversary of this vital youth program, 30-year-old Jake Howard from Perth has set himself the challenging task of running 10kms in 10 spectacular cities around the world to raise funds for the organisation.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides community based mentoring to disadvantaged youth aged 7-17 across Australia. The program is based on the development of a long-term, supportive, one-on-one friendship between an adult volunteer and a young person.
The Little Brothers and Sisters come from a range of different home environments, families and cultural backgrounds, however all of them share the need for a positive adult influence in their lives. There are presently more than 100 young people in Perth on the waiting list eagerly hoping for their Big Brother or Big Sister match to be made.
Little T, who is now 11 years old, was introduced into the program by his mum when he started having behavioural issues at school at age nine. As a single mum of three boys, she was concerned that he didn’t have a positive male role model in his life.
Big R’s motivation for joining the program as a Big Brother stemmed from his own experience of growing up without a male role model. Big R’s parents divorced and when he was twelve and his father moved overseas. He remembers wishing his father was nearby so they could do things together, and wanting a male influence in his life. By joining Big Brothers Big Sisters, Big R hoped he could fill a void in another child’s life by volunteering for the program.
Little T and Big R have certainly filled the void together with a huge range of activities including trips to the zoo, the beach, the circus and a special helicopter ride.
Having been matched for the past two years, Big R admits the benefit of their relationship is definitely a twoway street. Big R says his visits with Little T were one of the most consistent parts of his life where he could relax and simply have fun for a few hours. For Little T, his mum has reported that his behaviour has improved at home and at school, but most importantly he is much happier and enjoys having a positive male role model in his life.
Little T’s journey is just one of the many stories that inspired Jake Howard, the Director of business development company, Sales Pipeline, to become involved with the community organisation supporting young people in need.
Kicking off in Singapore on August 16, Jake is now in full training mode for his running adventure across the globe. Jake will complete 100kms in total, running in a new location every 3-5 days, then finishing in Perth on 25th October at the YMCA Youth HQ in Leederville.
To support Jake visit www.10in10for10.com.au