CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - On Thursdays, you will find Katie Hall at Moss Bluff Elementary School.
"We just play with our 'littles' and we just talk to them and have a good time," said Hall, a Sam Houston High School student.
Hall is a volunteer for a high school mentoring program sponsored by the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Nine-year-old Gracie Thrasher is Hall's little sister in the program.
"I like having a big sister," Thrasher said.
The teen mentors meet with their littles at their schools once a week for 45 minutes,
"We play games and get to know about each other," Thrasher said.
Some of the kids come from different backgrounds where having a Big Sister or a Big Brother has an extraordinary impact in their lives. But the littles aren't the only ones impacted by this program.
"It's really a great way to be a role model and to impact people in a positive way," Hall said.
Robert Bowman is the program coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana. He emphasizes the importance of teens mentors.
"It shows the high school students how to be a volunteer, how to impact their community, and (it) instills those values as well," he said. "A lot of these littles don't have the self-esteem. They don't have the confidence. And so the best part of this program is that these high school students just left that stage of life, and so they are able to make a bigger impact because they know exactly what these littles are going through."
Right now, the high school mentoring program has almost 70 matches. Bowman plans to visit schools in March to recruit more teen mentors.
For information on the mentoring program or volunteering, click HERE.