Rowan Big Brothers, Sisters link with Glassboro students

Rowan Big Brothers, Sisters link with Glassboro students

By BARBARA GREEN, Staff Writer

GLASSBORO -- Waiting for the bus to come, Kenny Wright sat under the weight of his new
Big Brother's arm as the pair talked conspiratorially.

Thursday was their first official meeting, staged at the kick-off party that brought 43 Thomas
E. Bowe Elementary School students to Rowan University for the day.

''He's nice, he seems cool,'' said Wright, patting Wayne Bucknor's arm. ''Like a real big
brother.''

For the rest of the school year, the two will continue to meet weekly for an hour as part of
school-based Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program that matches at-risk Bowe
students with Rowan student volunteers. The program is in its second year.

Like the other kids, Wright says having a Big Brother gets him out of class once a week,
gives him a chance to play games and hang out in the middle of the school day.

But mature at fifth grade, he also understands the other side: Bucknor gives him something
to look forward to, someone to depend on, a male influence in his life.

''You get to talk about your life, all your stress and stuff,'' Wright says, thoughtfully. ''I was
raised by two women ... my sister and my mother.''

So Bucknor is a sort of male role model.

''I wanted to make a difference in a young child's life,'' the senior sociology major said. ''A
lot of things I went through when I was young, he's probably going through now. I want to
show (the kids) there are people just like them attending college. I told Kenny today that
you only go as far as you push yourself.''

Read the complete story at: http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/news/gloucester/big_bro-big_sis.html

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Date Published: Friday, October 26, 2001 - 15:18