Some Portland-area children got new big brothers and sisters at the Stott Center last week.
Some Portland-area children got new big brothers and sisters at the Stott Center last week. Over 20 children from the nonprofit organization Big Brothers Big Sisters, along with their volunteer mentors, came to Portland State on Nov. 8 to study and play with members of several Viking sports teams.
For nearly two hours, the children and their mentors were paired with PSU student-athletes. The groups first studied and then played a game of dodgeball together.
Al Sigala, vice president of community relations and diversity programs for the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said the event was just as much for the children as it was for the student-athletes.
“It exposes the kids to the university atmosphere, and tells them, ‘You know what, you can do this as well. You can go to college,'” Sigala said. “At the same time, the athletes are gaining the experience of what is involved with giving back to the community.”
The partnership was a part of Portland State’s new “Out Town, Your Team” community-relations program. According to a statement released by the school, one of the goals of the event was to motivate the children to one day attend a university. Additionally, for the student-athletes involved it stressed the importance of working with the community and being positive role models.
Sigala said the other great thing about the partnership was the children and their big brothers and big sisters were also invited to Saturday’s PSU football game in Hillsboro.
“It was a two-part experience for the kids,” he said.