Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Unlocking Potential: Regions Associates Make a Lasting Impact through Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentorship Program


A Regions team member aimed to make a positive impact in his community by taking on the role of a youth mentor. Little did he anticipate the profound impact this fraternal bond would have on him. The much-anticipated introduction, crafted over months, was filled with a mix of excitement, sweaty palms, and nervousness.
The meeting between Weston and Sam was not a typical job interview but held a significance of its own. Sam Woodring, a Commercial Banking relationship manager at Regions Bank in St. Louis, shared his impressions of meeting his "Little Brother." According to Sam, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (BBBSEM) team had mentioned that Weston was a quieter kid, so Sam expected him to be a bit shy initially. As they engaged in an icebreaker game with their BBBSEM coordinator, Sam witnessed Weston gradually coming out of his shell.
More than a year has passed, yet the bond between them has surpassed expectations. Sam and Weston usually meet twice a month, enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, golfing, and visiting batting cages. Their shared interests also extend to playing chess, showcasing the depth of their connection.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has a rich history of pairing volunteer adult mentors, or "Bigs" like Sam, with "Littles" like Weston for over 120 years. The objective is to nurture friendships, provide guidance, and offer diverse perspectives to support the development of the "Littles."
Sam Woodring's decision to become a mentor was motivated by his desire to make a positive impact. He saw mentoring as a fitting way to channel his personality into providing extra attention to a young person in need.
Sam Woodring is not the sole Regions associate supporting BBBSEM. In September, the bank hosted 20 middle schoolers from the nonprofit's Group Mentoring program at the Mizzou-vs.-Memphis football game as part of the bank’s “Big Bike Tour” in the area. The Group Mentoring initiative aims to support young individuals in their pursuit of a meaningful, stable, and independent life.
Regions’ St. Louis Commercial Banking leader and market executive, Scott Hartwig, is also an advocate for BBBSEM. Although bringing together "Bigs" and "Littles" may seem straightforward, it involves both an art and science in creating lasting connections.
“The team at BBBSEM works really hard to make great matches,” said Woodring. “They gather a lot of background information on the ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles,’ and this helps them make successful matches to foster great relationships.”

“There are a lot of volunteer opportunities that can make an impact, but being a ‘Big’ offers that chance in a unique, personal and deeper way.” 

Scott Hartwig, Regions Commercial Banking leader and market executive
Woodring's partnership with Weston has exceeded his initial expectations, proving to be a source of fulfillment and joy for both mentor and mentee. Reflecting on his role as a 'Big,' Woodring shared, “My favorite aspect of being a 'Big' is the enjoyment of having fun while making a significant impact on someone's life. Building a closer connection with my 'Little' as we spend more time together and witnessing his growth has been an immensely rewarding experience.”
This mentoring experience has not only contributed to Weston's development but has also spurred personal growth in Woodring. He emphasized, “Being a 'Big' has taught me that perfection is not a requirement. Consistently showing up with a positive attitude can take care of many other aspects.”
The testament to the transformative power of a little time and care is evident in the positive outcomes for everyone involved in the mentorship. Another Regions associate was recognized for her contributions as a 'Big' in her community, showcasing the widespread impact of such initiatives.
In the words of participants from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (BBBSEM), they shared their thoughts on the program:
When asked about their favorite aspect of being a “Little” in Big Brothers Big Sisters, responses included the respect and responsibility instilled by the program (Jeraime), the opportunity to go on various trips and experiences (Koran), and the joy of sharing stories and receiving assistance from their mentors (Kevion).
Reflecting on their gameday experiences, participants highlighted aspects such as the cool stadium, great food options, and the excitement of seeing numerous players on one team.
Describing their favorite things about their mentors, participants expressed gratitude for having someone reliable to call (Dontrell), receiving important life advice (Koran), appreciating their mentor's background as a football coach and being Black (Ronnie), and acknowledging their mentors as cool, helpful individuals (Fontez and Jeraime).
These testimonials underscore the meaningful connections and positive influence mentors can have on the lives of their mentees.