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.
A Little Move has Big Consequences
The year Aaqila turned 7, everything changed. Her mother moved her from Chicago to Springfield. She changed schools. She was surrounded by fewer kids who looked like her. Not long after their move, Aaqila’s mom told her that she was no longer going to be an only child – a little sister was on the way.
A Big’s background inspires a Little
Every Friday night for years, Big Brother John sat on a bleacher, cheering on his…
A Big Sister for a Little Brother
Big Sister Dawn raised her two sons and called herself the “tomboy mom.” She taught her boys the traditionally male and female roles in their household, and felt comfortable raising boys. When her boys moved out and she felt that “empty nest” feeling, she volunteered to be a Big Sister. She asked for a Little Brother and was matched with Little Brother Philip, who was 8.
Growing up an only child of a single mom can be lonely, so Little Brother Evan was more than ready for camaraderie and adventure when he was matched with Big Brother Nick, then an MIT student, nine years ago. “Nick and I play sports together sometimes, and he inspires me to work hard to be like him,” Evan says. Through hockey, Nick showed Evan how to be a good teammate, be confident, and challenge himself.
Big Sister Katy says she knows she benefited from mentors in her own life, people who had supported and pushed her to reach her potential. “My father, a high school principal, often mentioned to me if more children had a mentor – a positive, trusted person – in their lives, opportunities would look a lot different for them,” Katy says. Now, she’s playing that role for Little Sister Trina, a child who bounced from her birth mother to foster care in her early life, before being adopted at age 3.
When Little Sister Parasia was 7, she was standing in her family’s living room when…