LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- One of the ways youngsters learn positive attitidues and life skills is through mentors.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas pairs mentors with young people who can benefit from someone to look up to.
But right now, the organization is seeing a shortage of Big Brothers, and a long waiting line of youngsters needing mentors to step up.
"I actually got involved in the program because my wife was a big sister and she would always talk about how great the program was and how much she loved having a little sister," says Ben Kaufman, a big brother who's meeting his little brother Malik Coleman for a round of putt putt golf at Golf World Wednesday.
Their golf game may be "terrible", but their relationship is pretty terrific. 8-year-old Coleman met his big brother Kaufman last summer when they were paired up. And they've been spending time together ever since.
"He is kind, generous. And funny!" says Coleman.
Throughout the year they've done just what the program encourages. They spend time together and build a positive mentor relationship.
"I think people think of the committment, and a lot of people may be turned off by the time commitment and think 'I'm too busy'. It doesn't have to take that much time," says Kaufman, sitting in the sunshine on his lunchbreak from work.
As of Wednesday, 35 boys were on a waiting list for a match and just two big brothers. Malik's mom Letha Bell says she wanted her two sons to have some structure and a mature male role model.
She says, "I, as a mother, give them their foundation but I want them to grow with their big brothers and learn different things that Mom can't teach them."
Kaufman admits it's easy for any adult to get into a routine but being a mentor is a real blessing.
"One of the things [Malik] has taught me is to just remind myself that there are so many different things out there that you could be doing and keep opening yourself up to those new things and to keep trying new things because that keeps life interesting!"
BBBSCA serves kids and mentors in Pulaski County.