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Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Greater Sacramento Working To Overcome Challenges Of Pandemic

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Maliq Powell and Ted Reiterman have been brothers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento for two years.

"From the first day we met to where we are now, we've accomplished so much," Powell said.

"Maliq's been a lot of fun. We get to hang out and do a lot of fun things," Reiterman said.

Making for plenty of memories like ice skating and Korean barbecue for birthdays, and plenty of mentoring in-person. But, a lot has changed since the pandemic including their meet-ups. Nearly all of them have been virtual with the occasional outside meet-up involving masks and social distancing.

"We're kind of stuck inside in a lot of ways. I want to be a good example and doing things that are safe," Reiterman said.

It's something the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento, Dimitrious Stone, said is one of the biggest challenges right now.

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"Young people really aren't much for Zoom meetings on a regular basis with their mentors," Stone said.

Stone, who is a big brother himself, is experiencing the same thing many others are dealing with right now: figuring out how to mentor amid the pandemic.

"We're really in this unprecedented time where what are we molding them and guiding them towards? We don't even know what that future's going to look like," Stone said.

But, that is just one of the hurdles that the non-profit is having to overcome. Like many others, they're taking a financial hit with galas and other events on hold during the pandemic. Stone said that funding for the organization should last until December. But, the non-profit is working with a funding team to find new sources of fundraising and revenue as well as how to stretch current funding, Stone said.

"We're absolutely concerned though with just the well-being and the sustainability of the organization," Stone said. "But again at the same time, we're confident that we have the support and we'll be able to keep our doors open."

READ: Learning Curve: Local Districts Talk Improvements After Several Distance Learning Duds

Stone told CBS13 it's handling the situation and the pandemic with a very cautious sense of optimism. Something brothers Maliq and Ted are also trying to do in a growing time of isolation.

"I think it has been tough. But, you know, luckily, we live in a time that has this awesome technology," Reiterman said.

"Knowing me and Ted's mindset, we'll always overcome any challenge that we face," Powell said.

One of the things Maliq and Ted are looking forward to after the pandemic is going back to Korean barbecue together. Ted promised his little brother if he got a 3.0 GPA this year, they'd go back. Maliq got a 3.5.

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