Breaking Bad Cycles

FBI honors ‘second chance’ program

12/27/2013, 10:26 a.m.
Kevin Rickett (from left), special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, presents a leadership award to Chabre Vickers and Tami Wallis of Big Brothers, Big Sisters on behalf of the non-profit group’s mentoring program for children.

The FBI Portland Division has presented Big Brothers, Big Sisters with its annual Community Leadership Award for a second chance program that pairs adult mentors with youth, ages 12 to 17, currently involved in the juvenile justice system.

"Second Chance gives kids the opportunity to break the cycle of bad choices that have put them into the justice system," said Kevin Rickett, acting special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. "These mentors truly care about encouraging and supporting these youth as they work to get an education, gain life skills and find the path to a successful and productive life as a member of our shared community.”

Every year, each of the FBI's 56 field divisions chooses one person or organization to receive the Director's Community Leadership Award. Each recipient must have shown a commitment to crime prevention or community service.

Volunteers who work with Second Chance at Big Brothers, Big Sisters commit to meeting with their matched youth at least three to four times a month over at least an 18-month time period. Each volunteer must pass a background check and participate in training specifically designed to help them deal with the challenges of helping these youth transition back into the community. They also receive continuing guidance, training and resources.

Since Big Brothers, Big Sisters established the program in 2010 more than 30 youth from the Portland metro area have been helped. The results have brought them better social confidence and improved scholastic competence, educational expectations, and parental trust.

Second Chance mentors include adults previously involved in the justice system, educators, lawyers, police officers, members of the faith-based community and others who have a passion for working with older at-risk youth.