LSBBBS Program

Loxion Science Big Brother/Big Sister Program

One of the fastest-growing areas of the mentoring
movement is the use of mentors to get young people
interested in, planning toward, and persisting in
science-related educational and career opportunities.

 

KEY PERSONNEL

Mentors in the LSBBBS program are adults from 22 to 28 years old. Staff supervision and support are critical to ensuring that the mentor and mentee meet regularly to build positive relationships.

Introduction & Background

One of the fastest-growing areas of the mentoring movement is the use of mentors to get young people interested in, planning toward, and persisting in science-related educational and career opportunities. Much has been written in the last decade about the challenges South African students are having engaging in STEM subjects (those related to science, technology, engineering, and math* ) and keeping up with their peers around the world in STEM academic performance as well as the impact this achievement gap has on both scholarship and STEM industries in the country. The struggles of girls and young women, youth with disabilities, African youth, and first-generation college students to engage in and persist in STEM are also well documented, as these groups continue to remain disproportionately underrepresented in academia and the STEM workforce. . This is an issue that not only limits the career choices being considered by young South Africans, but the dilution of the talent pipeline hurts South African competitiveness in many industries. Closing these gaps in STEM engagement, performance, and representation has become an issue of national importance.

Aim and Purpose

The Aim of the Loxion science Big Brother Big Sister (LSBBBS) mentoring program is to develop a healthy collaborative support system between learners in high school and university students studying towards a STEM-related qualification.

The goal is to motivate young budding scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs in under-resourced communities by having them build nurturing and mutually beneficial relationships with 2nd, 3rd, and post-graduate students from various Universities in the country. The hope is that, by partnering the two, we will close the gap and increase interest in STEM among high school learners by having them experience university and STEM careers through their mentors.

In the same breath, the program aims to develop leaders who will not only thrive but uplift the communities they come from through mentoring the younger generation before them.

Program Components

The program involves one-to-one mentoring between a Big Brother or Big Sister (the mentor or adult) and a Little Brother or Little Sister (the mentee or youth) that takes place in a community and University setting. The match between the adult and youth is the most important part of the intervention because this pairing can lead to a caring and supportive relationship, which can be crucial to making the right career choices.

The mentors mentoring program will spend more time together with mentees (about 5 -10 hours a month, 2 to 3 times a month, for at least 1 year). Goals of the one-to-one mentorship are established between the BBBS case manager and the parent/guardian, along with the child. One goal is to develop a relationship that is mutually satisfying, where both mentor and mentee wish to come together freely on a regular basis. Other goals may include better school attendance or grades, improving relationships with family members, learning new skills, or developing a new hobby.

Program Theory

As with other mentoring programs, LSBBBS is loosely based on the theory of social control, where attachments to prosocial, supportive youth, a commitment to appropriate goals, and a mutually trusting relationship between the mentor and mentee (graduate

Who is Eligible?

Mentor:

– Must be between 20-28
– Must be registered in an accredited University in Gauteng

– A South African citizen with no criminal record or pending criminal or sexual offense

– Must be studying toward a qualification related to either Science, IT, Engineering, Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Science communications and Finance

– Must be in University for a period of 2 years or more.

Mentee:

– Must be in Grade 10-12

– Must be a South African Citizen

– Must be studying Science subjects

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