UB’s Ryan Taughrin, a graduate recruitment officer in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences, was a Little Brother growing up who today serves as a Big Brother.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County is a one-to-one youth mentoring service, a local chapter of a national non-profit organization that is the largest provider of such services in the country.
“This organization had a profound impact on me when I was young,” he says. “Once I finished my master’s degree at UB, I knew that being a Big Brother was a way to directly give back and share my story with someone who can use this kind of inspiration and support while they’re growing up.”
In addition to his role as a Big Brother, Taughrin has served on committees to raise money for Big Brother and Big Sisters and help recruit and retain future “Bigs.”
“I got involved so I could work with a youth who could use another male role model or mentor in his life,” says Taughrin. “It was important for me to have a male figure in my life who saw me and listened to me.
“It was a constant at a time when nothing else was constant.”
Taughrin says donating to the United Way means the organization can assume greater caseloads and develop additional programming that is meaningful and educational.
“Donations make it possible for me to do even more for my Little Brother,” he says. “Continued support allows the organization to reach even further into the community and to identify area youths who can benefit from a one-to-one mentoring model.”
Such a model wouldn’t exist without community support, says Taughrin.
“It’s direct and beneficial,” he says. “My Little Brother has a chance to see someone who has been in the same position he’s in now – someone who has found ways of giving back.”
No one knows that better than Taughrin, for the model, in one way or another, has always been a part of his life.
“It works,” he says. “And it works well.”