Ashley & Megan

Mentoring success

When Ashley signed up to be a Big Sister, she was looking forward to providing friendship and mentorship to a young person needing someone they could trust and look up to. She expected a rewarding volunteer experience but got more than she bargained for when she was introduced to her high school-aged “Little”, Megan. What she got was an incredible bond with a young woman who quickly became part of the family. “It has been amazing to be a part of her journey into adulthood,” says Ashley. “I feel honoured to be someone she turns to for advice about her future or when she faces tough choices.” A proud moment for Ashley came when she watched Megan cross the stage to accept her high school diploma – the first in her family to do so. As demonstrated by Megan and Ashley, mentoring works and it pays dividends for our community. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group found that every dollar invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring generates $18 in social return on investment. Recipients of mentoring are likely to make better life choices, earn higher incomes as adults and engage in giving and volunteering – Megan is proof. Today, Megan is Fanshawe College studying social work so she can pay it forward for other kids through her future career.

“It has been amazing to be a part of her journey into adulthood. I feel honoured to be someone she turns to for advice about her future or when she faces tough choices.”


How we can help


To ensure all children and youth meet healthy developmental and educational milestones.


Child and youth poverty is on the rise in London & Middlesex County. Often children and youth who live in poverty do not
have access to healthy food choices. Therefore, offering low or no-cost after-school programs that provide healthy food
choices and nutrition education is critical. The average Canadian child (6-12 years of age) has roughly 67 hours of free time
every week, with most of this time during after-school hours. Many children spend this time alone and so fun, safe and
caring environments for children/youth or one-to-one mentoring programs ensure they are less likely to be subjected to the
vulnerabilities that childhood can bring (Boys & Girls Club of Canada: After School the Time of a Child’s Life). Providing active
after-school programs ensures opportunities for children and youth to be physically active, and helps to prevent weight and
health issues later in life which in turn saves money in future health care costs.


Studies confirm that children and youth who participate in quality after-school programs are more likely to become physically
and emotionally healthy adults who have healthy relationships, are self-reliant, independent and participate wholly in society.
After-school programs play a critical role in the healthy development of our children, which is why United Way London &
Middlesex has invested $1,066,750 in a cluster of high quality after-school programs proven to get results.

Fast facts

1 in 3 kids are not meeting literacy and numeracy standards established by the province
1 in 4 of London’s children and youth are overweight or obese
87% of children will experience vulnerability at some point in their
childhood and as many as 60 percent of children under 12 spending after school hours alone

Dakota HalfpennyAshley & Megan