A Sky Valley organization is gauging local interest in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Snohomish County branch executive director Pam Shields will be at the Crosswater Church in Sultan at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, for a meet-and-greet with the community, according to VOA executive director Calei Vaughn, who is coordinating with the nonprofit.

“Church attendance is not required but we’re certain Crosswater would welcome you with open arms if you choose to attend,” according to Vaughn.

A private study found Big Brothers Big Sisters youth were less likely to use drugs and alcohol, skip school or become violent, according to the county branch. The program's vetted one-to-one relationships can become a driving force behind developing the confidence and life skills a child needs.

Vaughn directs anyone interested in more information toward the National Mentoring Partnership.

“A mentoring gap exists that the nation must close,” according to the organization, “research demonstrates — and young people agree — that mentoring relationships support personal and academic outcomes, regardless of a young person’s background, as well as help prepare young people for the future workforce.”

At-risk youth are more likely to struggle in and out of school, according to the partnership. They are also less likely to have naturally occurring mentors. Designated programs can help address that discord.

Vaughn suggests a number of options for people looking to participate. Kids can be taught to fish, taken to a Sultan High School Turks football game, or a Monroe High School Bearcats wrestling match. They can help rebuild an engine or figure out how to fix a flat tire.

“There are so many great things to do when sharing your time with Sky Valley Youth,” Vaughn writes. “Mentorship changes the lives of kids.”