An ambitious and kind-hearted student, Amy Narang was trying to come up with creative ways she could give back to the community and be more involved in school as she entered her freshman year at Orange Lutheran High School.
A light bulb went off when she learned about the High School Bigs program at Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), which matches qualified high school-age teens with elementary school students. She discovered her new school didn’t participate in the program and was determined to get Orange Lutheran involved.
With support from her father, Navin Narang (who serves on the executive board of directors for BBBS), Amy helped launch her school’s first High School Bigs program this fall. Not only is it a new initiative for Orange Lutheran High School, but it also marked the agency’s first cohort in the city of Orange.
Once a week, about a dozen students from Orange Lutheran travel to nearby Esplanade Elementary School to serve as mentors to students. The program is facilitated by a BBBS team member and has a curriculum designed specifically for the elementary age group, focusing on topics like academic achievement, self-esteem and relationship-building.
Get to know more about Amy and her involvement with High School Bigs:
Why is youth mentoring important to you?
Amy Narang: I feel like in elementary school, it’s always cool to have someone to look up to. When I was little, I really looked up to the older kids and wanted to be like them. … I know there are kids that might not have someone who’s a good influence or show them right from wrong in some areas, so I think that it’s really cool that we can be people who can do that especially as high school kids and pass our experiences on to them.
What has been the most meaningful part of joining Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Actually, my dad went to Esplanade Elementary. When he was younger, he would have loved to have a program like this. I see it as a sort of tribute and it has come full circle now that I am a mentor here.
How has a mentor impacted your own life?
I would definitely say my parents are my mentors for giving me examples of how I should live my life and they’re who I look up to most.
What mentoring advice do you hope to impart on your new mentee?
I hope they learn from me just how to be a good person and how to tell right from wrong. … I hope they see that they should always strive for the best and do the best in everything that they do. That’s what my parents taught me all my life … and that’s what I want to pass down to my Little.