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During the Super Bowl XLI, CBS Cares, the NFL and Big Brothers Big Sisters joined forces to create a 15-second public service announcement highlighting the importance of mentoring which debuted during Super Bowl XLI on Sunday, Feb. 4th. In a Super Bowl first, the in-game PSA featured the two coaches whose teams were competing.
CBS Cares, in partnership with CBS Sports, decided to showcase mentoring and its similarities to coaching in Super Bowl months before the event. Our hope was to produce a message with the Super Bowl coaches. As Martin Franks, Executive Vice President, Planning, Policy & Government Affairs, CBS Corporation, conveyed in the press release announcing the project, we were thrilled at the close mentoring relationship between Tony Dungy of the Indiana Colts and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears. These extraordinary role models, the first African-American head coaches to bring their teams to the NFL's biggest game of the year, exemplify the power of mentoring. We therefore quickly adapted our script to reflect these exciting developments. Needless to say, this message would not have been possible without the close partnership of CBS Sports and the NFL - and, of course, without the willingness of Coaches Dungy and Smith to participate. Big Brothers Big Sisters also played an important role in helping ensure that our message was on point and we also benefited from a longstanding relationship with the Harvard Mentoring Project.
Tens of thousands of boys and girls are ready to be matched with mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters and other mentoring organizations. Unfortunately there aren't enough adults, especially men, to fill that gap. This lack of having a trusted friend, advocate, and caring adult in the formative years can spell the difference between achieving success in school and beyond or becoming another heart-breaking statistic such as a child lost to drugs, alcohol, prison, a child adrift with no future.
Research studies on Big Brothers Big Sisters' matches clearly show that children who are part of mentoring programs benefit in concrete, positive ways. They are 52% less likely to skip school, 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs than their peers and 27% less likely to begin using alcohol than those without a mentor.
Click here for the Big Brothers Big Sisters website.