MARQUETTE — UP Health System — Marquette supported the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marquette and Alger Counties with a $10,000 donation. Victor Harrington, Regional Director of Marketing and Business Development at UPHS presented the check to Jayne Letts, Executive Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters, on Tuesday.
“We believe in working with the kids when they’re younger and giving them the tools they need to address the issues that they deal with today,” Letts said. “We know that opiate use continues to be a big problem in our community, and mentoring is one way to address substance abuse issues.
“We are so grateful for the support of UPHS as we work to help local families and children.”
The contribution will help match 10 kids in their community-based program. Through the program, the kids meet every month with a mentor with the goal of improving mental health and social skills. The donation will also fund other activities such as cooking classes and yoga lessons.
“Our program is evidence-based,” Letts said. “It means it can be scientifically proven that the infrastructure we have leads to a mentoring relationship that can positively impact drug and alcohol use, school performance, relationships with their peers and families, hope for the future, careers and everything that they need to be successful adults and citizens.
“Twenty percent of kids have a mental health issue, so that’s a lot of kids in our counties. This will allow us to put more kids in a mentoring relationship that will help their behaviors.”