Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City opens new headquarters in Crossroads

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City has become the fastest growing chapter of the youth service organization in the nation.

The agency moved into a new headquarters in the Crossroads Friday to help serve even more kids.

More than 1,600 kids around the metro have a big brother or big sister.

The group has grown by more than 70 percent in the last eight years.

Ashley Mitchell said she credits her big sister for changing the path of her life. Mitchell was 14 years old when Erika Kauffman became her big sister. Mitchell says the real estate agent has been a positive role model for the last 12 years and has provided good advice and even helped her get into college.

"I would never have started college, maybe applications, I didn't know where to start with that, Mitchell said. "She just jumped right in and helped me with the essays and the applications. Because of her, I had the opportunity to go to college. I also look to her for guidance professionally."

For Kauffman, being a big sister was a lot easier than she thought. She just brought Mitchell along whenever she had to do simple errands like grocery shopping.

Kauffman said she feels like she's gained a life-long friend in Mitchell.

At the grand opening for the new location, the two donated a brick for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ new headquarters.

The group raised $2 million to move into its renovated building in anticipation of providing more mentoring to young people who need guidance.