From a Little to a Big: An Award-Winning Experience

17-year-old Batiya Roth volunteered to be a Big with the Jewish Family Service Bigs & Littles youth mentoring program because she loved the idea of giving a young person the same kind of positive experience she had as a Little in the program.


Roth, a senior at Walnut Hills High School, is a former Little who participated in the Bigs & Littles community-based program for four years, starting when she was eight years old. As a Big, she has mentored the past two school years at Rockwern Academy, and has agreed to continue again for this school year.

Jewish Family Service recognized Roth for her volunteer service with Bigs & Littles when Steve Halper, a former Big, presented her with the Betty R. Goldberg Community Service Award at its Annual Meeting in June.


"The Bigs & Littles Mentoring program teaches children emotional intelligence and has strong, proven outcomes, including helping kids believe they have a positive future ahead," said Halper. "This award is for someone who actively engages in helping others and improving the community through volunteering." The award was established in 1998 by an anonymous donor, in honor of the many years of service that Betty Goldberg gave to the program. Erin McNew, Manager of Jewish Family Service Bigs & Littles accepted the award on her behalf.


"Batiya is reliable, positive, caring, and a great friend and role model to her Little," said McNew. "Recently, she has volunteered with two other Rockwern mentors to take on more responsibility in next year’s program by taking a role in activity planning for group sessions."


The award included $1,000 to further her education. Roth shared with McNew that she is looking toward college and is interested in going into the field of nursing.


Additional teens are needed to join Roth as mentors at Rockwern Academy for this school year.


In addition to Rockwern Academy, Jewish Family Service Bigs & Littles serves children from Pleasant Ridge Montessori and Cincinnati Hebrew Day School.


Volunteers for this year's school-based mentoring program at Pleasant Ridge Montessori are also needed 5-6:30 pm Wednesdays from September 2018 to May 2019 to help students ages 9-12 who will benefit from the extra support that a consistent, adult friend can provide.


To volunteer as a Big, contact Linda Kean, Director of Youth and Family Services at 513-766-3318 or lkean@jfscinti.org; or Erin McNew at 513-766-3328 or emcnew@jfscinti.org.