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Big Brothers Big Sisters looking for more mentors

Posted at 9:17 PM, Apr 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-07 23:51:37-04

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin is looking for mentors for more than one hundred children.

Joy Wick, the marketing and communications director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin, told us nearly 60 percent of the children on their wait list are boys, so they really need men to step up and volunteer.

She also told us 6 thousand children in Brown County are not on track to graduate, so they've started a new program to mentor middle and high school students.

"It's like being an aunt or an uncle and watching that special niece or nephew grow up, and they become part of your family, part of yourself, and a great person to watch as they develop into an adult and give back to the community, probably in the same ways that you gave to them," added Wick.

NBC26 caught up with a Big Little pair on Sunday.

Steve and Deb Gussert couple mentor Isabelle Charlier.

"To me it's such a rewarding, I mean, that just gives me a high to know that we've made a different in your life I hope," Deb said to Isabelle.

From homework, learning to drive, and applying to college, the Gusserts have been with Isabelle through it all.

They've been matched up for the last 7 years.

"When I met Deb, I, my mom was, you know, she was recently passed away at that time," said Isabelle.

Isabelle was only 11-years-old and said she was in need of a mother-figure when she and Deb were matched up.

"There's only so many thinks your dad can help you with," said Isabelle.

Deb became that mother-figure she needed.

"It was always like, no, you know, no judgment, but at anytime, any day, time, just call me when you need help," said Deb.

Now, Deb, Steve, their daughter Grace and Isabelle have memories to last a lifetime.

Steve reminisced on one of the first times they took Isabelle fishing on the Fox River.

"To see her catching one of her first fish and be in tears was just very rewarding for me. The things you take for granted, you think everybody does, and there, here's a girl crying because she caught a cat fish," added Steve.

Isabelle is now 18-years-old and will soon enter into a new chapter of her life, but her relationship with the Gusserts will never fade.

"I never really thought we ever would have to be separated. It never really came to be a thing. I was just like yep, she's going to be here forever. There's no way she's leaving," said Isabelle.

Anyone can make a difference in someone's life like Deb, Steve, and Isabelle have experienced.

For more information on getting involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters visit their website.