There are many ways to support the mission of defending potential in the lives of our youth.
Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Not to mention, one of the most fulfilling. You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering them to achieve. And the best part is, it’s actually a lot of fun. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do.
Play sports together. Go on a hike. Read books. Eat a pizza with extra anchovies. Or just give some advice and inspiration. Whatever it is you enjoy, odds are you’ll enjoy them even more with your Little—and you’ll be making a life-changing impact.
Community-Based: Mentoring takes place in the community rather than in a facilitated setting. Community-based mentoring relationships involve one-on-one outings and activities, doing things that both the Big and Little enjoy together. This might include things like taking a walk in the park, going to a museum, listening to music, attending an event hosted by the agency, or even just hanging out and talking.
School - Based: Mentors meet with their Little at a school or after-school site for a minimum of 1 hour a week, that’s it, just 1 hour a week! Many employers allow employees to do this during their workdays.
Beyond School Walls: Mentors meet with their Little at their business/organization weekly or bi-weekly. If your work place is interested in starting a program that benefits both youth in the community and your employees, reach out to us today!
E - Mentoring: Mentor a high school student at Tyner High School for 2 years as they complete a leadership class. Communicate weekly on an online platform and meet in person with the class and other mentors once a month.
Bigs in Blue: Youth are mentored by law enforcement to build bridges of understanding; this can be done in any of our aforementioned programs.
High School Bigs: An opportunity for high school students to mentor a child during school hours. This program is perfect for K-12 schools, as Bigs can mentor younger students at their own school.
Reading to Learn: This program is specifically designed to work with youth falling behind in reading. Bigs receive literacy-focused coaching and BBBS provides books and activities for mentors to review and read with Littles during weekly one-on-one meetings.
81% of former Littles surveyed agree their Big gave them hope & changed their perspective of what they thought possible.
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.
As a Big/Little team, you decide together what you want to do and then your Little gets approval from his or her parent. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your local agency will provide more guidance on this. The outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little, and you.
The quality of the time you invest with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library, check out a book and read together. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Go on a nature walk. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
In the beginning it’s most important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little.
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
Step 1- Info Session: Attend an in-person info session at our office. This serves as your volunteer orientation, but it's open to anyone who's interested in learning more about BBBS! Scroll up to see when our next Info Session is and get signed up.
Step 2- Application: Once you've attended an Info Session, someone from our office will reach out with a personalized Application Link (or you might have already filled one out). This is where you'll share the information necessary to begin your process. You will also want to give your references a heads up that they will be getting an email from us. Make sure you have your Driver License and auto Insurance card ready to upload.
Step 3- Interview, Training and Background Check: Once your application is submitted, our Enrollment team will work with you to schedule your interview, provide instructions for completing the online training and your fingerprint background check.
Step 4- Acceptance/Denial: Not every volunteer who applies is accepted into our program. Once the enrollment process is complete, you will be contacted by a member of our staff to inform you of our final decision. Big Brothers Big Sisters has the right to accept or not accept program participants, and is not required to provide participants with a reason if not accepted.
Step 5- Match Introduction: Volunteers are matched with a Little based on similar interests, geographical location, personality and values to ensure a long-lasting relationship. You will be contacted by the Enrollment team to present a potential match.
Step 6- Match Support: Once you have your Match Introduction, you will be assigned a Match Support Specialist. This Match Support Specialist is our team member dedicated to you and helping your match succeed. For the first year of your match, they will contact you monthly and after your 1-year Match Anniversary, they will contact you quarterly. All participants are required to respond to their Match Support Specialist in a timely manner.