Big Brothers Big Sisters hosting JEDI Bash event

Published 1:05 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

In honor of National Mentoring Month, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana will be hosting the Year of the JEDI Bash 2-4 p.m. on Saturday. This event will not only celebrate current Bigs and Littles, but will also host adults interested in becoming a Big.

This Star Wars-themed event will provide important information regarding the mentoring process and youth service program, while serving pizza and hosting activities like bowling and games.

The theme was inspired by BBBS acronym, JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion). These tenets were introduced to Big Brother Big Sisters of America in 2019. Despite its recent institution, JEDI is “not new by any means,” said Jobi Arceneaux, BBBS-SWLA Marketing and Communication Coordinator.

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JEDI was inspired by the longstanding DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) that began in the 1960s. “It has grown in its recognition and affirmation of gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin and other identities,” she said. “The preceding J has been added for justice, as we dismantle barriers into resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals and communities can live a full and dignified life.”

At BBBS-SWLA, creating a safe space for all walks of life is vital. “We recognize, affirm, and celebrate the diverse backgrounds, lives, and experiences of all our stakeholders, including Bigs, Littles, families, donors, volunteers, and staff,” said Arceneaux. “We strive to realize the full potential that is within all of us by ensuring that all voices and perspectives are heard and honored.”

Currently, there are 39 Littles on BBBS-SWLA’s waiting list, indicating a great need for volunteers.

Those that do choose to begin the process of becoming a big can expect benefits. “Besides gaining a new best friend, Bigs gain continuous learning and personal development, a whole village of supporters and cheerleaders, and the opportunity to find joy in being a kid again by seeing the world through their Little’s eyes,” said Arceneaux.

Adults interested in becoming a Big need to be ready for the responsibility. “To be a mentor is to be a leader, a coach, and someone to guide their mentee through decisions and life,” she explained.

A good Big turns small moments, like getting ice cream or going to the bookstore, into sentimental and educational experiences, she said. “Little moments together turn into so much more for each child in your role as their Big Brother or Big Sister.”

BBBS-SWLA considers every match an accomplishment. “We take pride in facilitating these one-to-one mentoring relationships that make a great impact in the lives of both the Big and Little… These connections last a lifetime.”

Due to the thorough screening process, matches won’t be made at the event. However, it is an opportunity for potential Bigs to better understand what they would be undertaking if they volunteered. “We thoroughly screen, interview, and get to know each potential Big and Little to best match them together. In our thoroughness, we keep an open line of communication providing support and guidance through the waiting process, matching preparation, once matched and beyond. We aim for the success of every match”

Those who are interested in attending must RSVP by today, Jan, 26 by contacting the office at 337-478-5437 or RSVP on Eventbrite.

The event takes place in the BBBS-SWLA Gym at 4135 Common Street.

For more information on becoming a Big, visit