In 2013, Big Brothers Big Sisters started a new mentoring initiative called Back on Track. The program works with children who are first or second time offenders in the juvenile justice system in Montgomery County. Core to the program is being matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister, who provides extra support and mentoring. Ultimately, the objective is to prevent re-offense. Without programming like Back on Track, one in five children will return to the justice system within one year of their first contact with law enforcement.
Little Brother Jamal and Big Brother Brucelee met in June 2014. Jamal’s father, Ali, enrolled his son in the program so Jamal could have another positive outlet in his life after an incident at school.
Since meeting Brucelee, Jamal has come to build a strong friendship and trust with his mentor and talks to him about any problems he has. Jamal has become more confident, positive, and focused on education. Ali noted, “Jamal has realized who his friends really are, and what friends do for each other.”
For Brucelee, the experience has exceeded his expectations. He said, “it’s humbling to be given the opportunity to help another young man achieve his goals.”
Jamal has not reoffended since becoming involved in the program.