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Hundreds of kids in Portland metro area are waiting for BIPOC mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters is recruiting BIPOC volunteers to mentor local kids. Lamar Hurd takes a closer look at the recruiting effort.

HILLSBORO, Ore. — Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest (BBBS) is recruiting more BIPOC volunteers. Many kids are now asking for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) Big Brothers, saying they're more relatable. At last check, there are about 250 kids waiting for a mentor.  

KGW's Lamar Hurd caught up with the organization during Hillsboro's Juneteenth Festival. The group said they were there to connect with the community, and attract more volunteers.

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Chief program officer Carolina Adrianzen said that being a mentor is commitment, but it is something most people can do in addition to their normal tasks. 

"If you have time to give, all it takes is meeting with mentee two to four times a month doing activities you already do: washing the car, throwing the ball, doing things you're already doing. Now bringing in a little with you to enjoy these activities and have someone to talk to," said Adrianzen.

The organization has had some recent success. Portland’s BBBS was recently recognized and awarded $1.5 million to transform mentorship in the Portland and Vancouver metro-area from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

The organization has been partnering at-risk youth with mentors for 20 years. Anyone interested in volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters can find more information on their website.

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