Community Based Mentoring is the original program that Big Brothers Big Sisters started with and is the most flexible. Our volunteers work with children in their local community by spending time together one to one. Volunteers are called "Bigs" and our children enrolled are called "Littles" and they hang out in their community 2-4 times a month to share fun activities and learn about each other.
High school students meet for 90 minutes a week with elementary school students at the elementary school site. A High School Bigs Coordinator and their TA coordinate and supervise these matches at the school site. Each Coordinator has a calendar of science & math based modules that they demonstrate and have the matches work on together. On weeks they don't have modules, these matches play sports, games, or hang out which help Littles develop and improve their academic and social skills as well. The High School Bigs program uses metrics to track the Littles successes too. We follow and chart that success with self-esteem surveys, report cards and attendance progress reports throughout the school year.
Just one hour a week at a local school or other community site is all it takes. To become a Lunch Buddies Big, you have to be over the age of 18. The volunteer goes through the same process as a Community Based volunteer but you will be meeting with your Little at their school instead of picking them up at their home. Currently our Lunch Buddies program is exclusively with our Bigs in Blue program, giving our local law enforcement the ability to spend time with their Little during their lunch hour.
Big brother Justin, is a real life super hero. When He is not stopping crime on the streets, you can see him mentoring his little brother, Nathan. Since they were matched earlier this year, Justin has been a big part of Nathans's life, including being involved with Nathan's academics. It's not uncommon to see Justin in a classroom giving presentations to the students on the police department, police officers, and their duties. Most importantly, Justin has been there for Nathan's hardest times, giving him an ear and some advice. Nathan's mother said, "I wish Justin was my Big!" That goes to show how much of an impact Justin has had on Nathan and his family.
If you would imagine a perfect match, you would probably envision Hank and Avelino. The two have done so much together in a short time. Outings ranging from: going to church and watching Avelino sing in choir, doing community service at fundraising events with Hank's Lions Club, and going down water slides at the water park. The bond between Hank and Avelino is strong, and is only getting stronger. Seems like Avelino finally has a male role model he can look up to.
Coming from a country in a war and serving in the military at the age of 17, Ivana made her way to the United States. It is safe to say that Ivana has a lot to offer when it comes to mentoring a child. So, it was a perfect fit when she became Cameron's Big. Cameron is your typical teenage girl, who just needs someone to talk to and hangout with, since she does not get out much and is the only girl in the family besides her grandmother. Although Ivana and Cameron's match is fairly new, there friendship is off to a good start. When they are not on outings, Cameron texts Ivana for friendly advice. Things like when Cameron got a new haircut, so she snap a selfie and shared it with Ivana, asking her for her opinion. It is the little things that count and go unnoticed.