DEFENDING POTENTIAL SINCE 1904
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.
What's New from Big Brothers Big Sisters
Maroon 5 Donate $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters Ahead of Super Bowl Halftime
Maroon 5 have teamed with the NFL and Interscope Records to donate $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America just days before the group is slated to take the stage as halftime performers at Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. A spokesperson for the Adam Levine-led group confirmed the donation to Billboard on Tuesday (Jan. 29), with a spokesperson for BBBS sharing a statement from the organization’s president and CEO Pam Iorio.
NFL Launches Inspire Change Initiative, Advancing National Conversation, Progress on Social Justice
The National Football League today announced the launch of the Inspire Change initiative, showcasing the collaborative efforts of players, owners and the league to create positive change in communities across the country. The joint NFL players-ownership committee recently approved two new social justice grants. The grants were issued to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) and Operation HOPE. BBBSA will use the funding to support agencies across the country as they create long-term mentoring relationships that empower youth to reach their full potential and help communities connect across racial and economic divides. Operation HOPE will utilize the funds in support of their nationwide work within underserved communities to equip young people and adults with the financial tools and education to secure a better future.
A message from the CEO: My mentor story
He taught me early on that one competes with oneself, not others, and to compete without making excuses. Throughout my life, when I face challenges, I think of Coach Barnes, and his advice to “run faster.”
BBBSA President and CEO Pam Iorio Honored by People Magazine as one of 25 Women Changing the World in 2018
People Magazine published its annual list of “25 Women Changing the World,” on November 2, and the list includes our President and CEO, Pam Iorio. While the headline may be “25 Women Changing the World,” we see the story as how Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, our Bigs, and our partners are working together to change their communities.
After spending years in foster care, Little Sister Jennifer began living with her mom again. It was a tough transition, and her mom knew Jennifer needed someone else in her corner. She signed her up to become a Little Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, and that decision changed the entire trajectory of Jennifer’s life.
When Big Brother Randall told Little Brother Henry he would be graduating with his MBA, Henry gave him a big high five and asked if he could attend. Randall immediately said yes. “I knew this was a moment that would be a giant seed in his mind, and if he could see the graduation and I could give him a high five there, it would be a huge positive influence in his life,” Randall says. Randall’s plan worked perfectly. He gave Henry a high-five after the ceremony, and Henry told him that he wanted to graduate high school and college — just like his Big Brother.
Big Sister Portsha grew up with a very busy single mother. Her mom didn’t really have time to craft or read, or to be silly with Portsha and try to touch the tip of her nose with her tongue, as Portsha liked doing. She was devoted to working and providing for Portsha and didn’t have a lot of spare time. Because of this, Portsha felt she was missing a mentor in her life, so she made mentors for herself out of pop culture icons. “My mentors and role models were the powerful and brave girls and women I would read about in books, like Scout in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ or see in movies, like Disney’s ‘Mulan,’” Portsha says. “And of course, Oprah. Everybody loves Oprah.” By the time she was an adult herself, she knew she wanted to be a real-life mentor for someone, and signing up to be a Big Sister gave her the perfect opportunity.
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.