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.
What's New from Big Brothers Big Sisters
A Police Chief’s Advocacy for Mentorship Gets Award-Winning Results
Police Chief Scott grew up with two quality mentors — his parents. His father taught Scott and his friends to fish and hunt, and his mom encouraged them to empathize with others. The lessons had lasting effects on Scott, but modeling mentorship may have been the biggest. As he went through college and started his career as a beat cop, he sought out mentors for himself and eventually decided to become one. He became a Big Brother to Little Brother Marcus and saw firsthand the impact that an officer could have by mentoring a youth. After being named police chief, he made mentoring a priority for his department and saw award-winning results.
From Principal to Big Sister
After retiring as a school principal, Verna still felt compelled to make a difference in someone’s life, so she became a Big Sister. She was matched with Little Sister Sarah, who was 6. Like many kids, Sarah was struggling with bullies, attendance, reading, and making friends. Though Verna had worked with many kids before, she quickly realized that this relationship would be different and, ultimately, the most special.
The Perfect Guy for a Little Surrounded by Girls
Dre’Von grew up surrounded by girls, with an older sister and two younger sisters, so his mother decided to enroll him as a Little Brother. She felt Dre’Von could use a positive male model in the form of a Big Brother, and he was matched with Tyler. Over the next three years, they have visited wolves at the zoo, seen the brightest neon jerseys ever at an NFL game, and enjoyed a perfect fall evening at an MLB game. From the activities they do together to the dedication to the match, Tyler has proven to be exactly the guy Dre’Von needed in his life.
One of the first things Annie did when she moved to Salt Lake City was look into volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters. As she was going through her trainings and waiting to meet her Little Sister, Annie started learning things about her new home. One of the things she learned was that Salt Lake City has a large refugee population. During her interview with Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, they asked if she would be interested in being matched with a refugee youth. “It was as if the person interviewing me looked right into my soul and saw something that I didn’t know about myself yet,” Annie says. “I immediately knew that I would prefer to mentor a refugee youth.” Annie was matched with Little Sister Sabina, who was a 6-year-old Nepali refugee. The match was intended to be life-changing for Sabina, but it ended up changing both their lives.
Big Brother Roy raised two sons to be independent and responsible like himself, but after they moved out the house, he experienced “empty nest” syndrome. He tried curing it by babysitting his three granddaughters, serving at his church, and taking up new hobbies, but nothing seemed to fill the void. After reading about Big Brothers Big Sisters in the newspaper, Roy signed up to be Big. He was soon matched with Little Brother Cahill, who wasn’t your typical 12-year-old, and began what would become a life-long friendship.
Shannon was sitting in traffic when she saw an ad on the back of a bus that changed her life forever. “You can could be a Big Brother or Big Sister,” it read, and she believed it. She signed up and was matched with Little Sister Courtney. Courtney’s childhood had been tough, with drugs and alcohol affecting her family, and her dad incarcerated at the time of her match. This only inspired Shannon more, as she saw a lot of herself in Courtney during their first match meeting. “She needed a positive role model in her life just like I did when I was her age,” Shannon says. “From that day meeting her, I have tried to provide this for her in every interaction we share.”
Big Brother Jason didn’t start as the perfect role model. He was heading down the wrong path, but turned his life around thanks to his own Big Brother telling him that things will get better. Years later, Jason has become a Big Brother to Little Brother Donovan. After seeing firsthand the power that words of encouragement can have, he offers the same to his Little.