As the nation’s oldest and largest youth mentoring organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped children realize their potential through professionally managed, one-to-one relationships with adult volunteers for 110 years.
Ernest Coulter, a New York City court clerk, was concerned about the increasing amount of young boys entering the legal system. He believed a healthy, consistent relationship with a caring adult would make a difference in these boys’ lives. He recruited thirty-nine adult volunteers to each befriend one young boy, thus launching the Big Brothers movement.
Since Big Brothers early years, it has undergone several changes, most notably the partnership between the Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International in 1977, but the focus has always remained on enriching children’s lives through positive, encouraging adult relationships.
Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters is a staple in many communities, creating opportunities for adults to share valuable life lessons, interests, hobbies and skills, and most important – their time with a child who needs a reliable, compassionate adult in his or her life. Whenever Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs a child with a role model, it’s the start of something incredible: a one-to-one relationship built on trust and friendship that can blossom into a future of unlimited potential.
It doesn’t take much to make a big difference in the life of a child who is facing adversity. Making a donation to support a match between a child and an adult volunteer and/or volunteering to become a mentor are just a few mouse clicks or a phone call away. BBBS’s work is proven to positively impact the lives of the children whom they serve.
Surveys have found that youths enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs are:
• 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
• 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
• 52% less likely to skip school
• 33% less likely to exhibit violent behavior
• More confident in their schoolwork performance
• Able to get along better with their families
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
450 East John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 100
Irving, Texas 75062
By: Candice Munro
Photos: Courtesy of BBBS