Gordy Myrick is a Senior at Gulfport High School. Once a week, he spends an hour at Pass Road Elementary, being like a big brother to Donald Reyer. Myrick says he became a mentor because he gets a good feeling volunteering his time to help the boys and girls.
Myrick is one of 31 mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississippi Program. The mentors take the youngsters under their wings during school. They help the students with class work and play with them on the playground.
Program Director Rebecca Anderson says if the children need help with an academic subject, the mentors will help them with that. Mainly, the mentors are there as positive influences and positive role models for the kids. They give advice and guidance to the children. Anderson says there are so many children in the area that come from broken homes, and they just need somebody to reach out to them and give them a hug.
Gulfport High Sophomore Jennifer Riemann praises the program. As a mentor, she says she gets to help a lot of kids who need a friend. Riemann says it makes her feel good just to see her student smile and have fun with her.
Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Mississippi is also underway at Central Elementary and 28th Street Elementary in Gulfport. The program may expand into Biloxi schools in the Fall. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can call 865-1905.