Aimee Risser is an Alabama Bright Light for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama
Original post by Karim Shamsi-Basha on Alabama NewsCenter
Every child deserves the investment.
A simple statement that is packed with challenges. But Aimee Risser rises to the challenge at Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama. She is the CEO and president of the organization.
“We target children from foster homes and from single-family homes that need a role model,” Risser said. “We become that role model. The children are full of potential, and we love being their advocates. We are always in their corner.”
The mission statement for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama says it all: Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama’s mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.
Igniting that power and that promise is attained with a couple of programs.
“We serve around 120 children across Alabama,” Riser said. “We offer two programs. The first is a school-based program during school hours at the school grounds. We also have a community-based program where Bigs do things with their Littles. Recently, one of our Bigs took their Little to a college campus to buy a book. It can be the simplest of things, but it’s huge for the kids. This community-based program is built to withstand things like the pandemic. It’s resilient and pandemic proof. We’ve had it for 120 years.”
These and other programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama can be costly. Risser depends on funding from corporations and foundations such as Alabama Power and the Alabama Power Foundation.
“We have been partners with Alabama Power and Alabama Power Foundation for at least a decade. Across the state many Alabama Power employees are Bigs. We also participate in Elevate with the Alabama Power Foundation. Their support has been incredible,” Risser said. “We are donor-supported, and the Alabama Power Foundation has supported many of our programs. One is a walk coming up that is our first in-person event since the COVID-19 crisis.”
When it comes to mentoring children, Risser said there should be no barriers.
“Every child deserves the investment.”
For more information or to become a Big, visit www.bbbssa.org.
Alabama Bright Lights captures the stories, through words, pictures and video, of some of our state’s brightest lights who are working to make Alabama an even better place to live, work and play. Award-winning journalist Karim Shamsi-Basha tells their inspiring stories. Email him comments, as well as suggestions on people to profile, at [email protected].