Millions of children need a caring adult role model.
When children and teens have the influence of a caring adult, they are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and to focus on academics. Today's youth face a variety of challenges, and being matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister can help them navigate these challenges and reach their potential.
How does Big Brothers Big Sisters help Kasaius?
When Big Brothers Big Sisters works to match a Little with a Big, we take into account the needs, personality, interests, and goals of both the child and the adult volunteer. We introduce the Little and his or her family to the Big slowly and make sure everyone is fully committed to the match before it is made official. Little Brother Kasaius is outgoing and up for anything, so he needed a Big who was creative and had a variety of interests.
Children like Kasaius get the most out of their one-to-one relationship with their Big when the Big, the parent or guardian, and the child talk openly with their Match Support Specialist. Working as part of the team helping the child succeed, the Match Support Specialist can help identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and connect the family with essential services.
When Kasaius’ Big Brother saw the email from BBBS saying that there were spots open in a free acting class, he jumped at the chance to take Kasaius. BBBS affiliates across the country provide activities for Bigs and Littles and also alert Bigs to opportunities in the community. This enables Bigs to get to know other Bigs, who might be experiencing similar things and who might have great suggestions for more new activities.
Screening and Training
Child safety is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. To achieve the highest standards possible, we work constantly to review and strengthen our background check systems as new best practices in the industry emerge. We also make sure our Bigs and our staff have the training and resources they need to help Littles on their path to success.
Little Sister Alexis and Big Sister Sheila’s match began with a hurdle. When it was time to meet her Little Sister for the first time, Sheila couldn’t make it–she was trapped inside her house. “I had a 5 to 7 foot drift of snow in my driveway, and no way to get out, and no way to contact Alexis’ mother,” Sheila says. The two didn’t let the hurdle stop them, though. They were able to meet soon after that, and began going to the movies, learning to sew, and reading books to each other at the library. While the match would go on to face more hurdles, each brought them closer and made their match stronger.
A Path Towards a Brighter Future
Little Brother Arual was at a crossroads. He had big dreams about playing sports and earning scholarships, but he was also tempted to give in to peer pressure from the wrong crowd. His mom was determined to find something to pull him onto the path towards a brighter future. “I was so worried that he might get more involved with these kids, that I had trouble staying calm about it,” she says. She enrolled him as a Little through Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Opispo County, and he was matched with Big Brother Jacob. With Jacob’s help, Arual was able to get onto that path towards a brighter future.
Sharing Moments Both Big and Small
Little Sister’s Mackenzie’s first meeting with Big Sister Paula fell on Mackenzie’s birthday, which was just the first example of how the match would witness each other’s big life moments. Paula was there for Mackenzie’s graduations from middle school and high school. Mackenzie was there for Paula’s wedding and was excited to meet Paula’s first baby. These big moments have made unforgettable memories for the match, but it may have been the little moments that had the most impact.
Big Brother Cynric made mistakes growing up and felt like they were keeping him from being the right guy to be a mentor. Eventually, he realized that his mistakes might make him an even better mentor. “It was those mistakes that pushed me to sign up,” he says. He enrolled as a Big was soon the perfect match for Little Brother Kameron.
For years, Big Sister Diane worked as the owner/operator of a hair salon and heard from clients about their experiences of being a Big. Three years ago, she decided to become a Big Sister herself. She was soon matched with Little Sister Jaelynn. Over the years, the two have cooked endless truffles, learned to ice skate, and so much more. Now, Diane is helping Jaelynn save money for college by helping her at the same hair salon that first led Diane to become a Big.
Consistency is key to any match being successful. “So many ‘Littles’ have dealt with so much disappointment in their lives and need someone that is truly dependable, keeps their word, and follows through on their promises,” Big Brother Steve says. Steve has been all of that and more to his Little Brother, Cesar. Nearly every Saturday morning for the last nine years, Big Brother Steve has been consistent with his Little Brother Cesar, beginning each of their outings with a knock on his door.