Big Brothers Big Sisters recruits community volunteers (Big Brothers/Big Sisters) to match them with at-risk youth (Little Brothers/Little Sisters). Bigs provide encouragement, friendship, guidance and support to children in need of a positive and caring adult role model in their life.
Studies show that children matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister are less likely to use illegal drugs or alcohol, less likely to skip school more confident in their school performance and more trusting of parents and guardians.
All volunteers are fully screened and trained before they are matched with a child. After the match is made, professional case managers support the match and assist the volunteer with any issues that may arise. It is through this professional match support that Big Brothers Big Sisters is able to achieve such significant positive outcomes.
Who Does Big Brothers Big Sisters Serve?
Children ages 6 to 16 can apply to enroll in our program, and they can stay matched up to age 21. The average age for Littles is 12.
More boys than girls apply to be Littles. Due to the fact that more women than men volunteer to be Bigs, sometimes boys are matched with Big Sisters.
Children in our program come from diverse family backgrounds. The majority live in single-parent homes and almost 40% have a family member who is or has been incarcerated. Many of our Littles’ families have incomes near or below poverty level.
Children in our program participate voluntarily; they want/need a mentor in their lives.
BBBS of the Brazos Valley serves 250 children per year.
What does participation in Big Brothers Big Sisters do for children?
Prevention vs Intervention: BBBS was founded in 1904 by a court clerk who saw boys coming through the court who had one thing in common--no father in their lives. He believed a positive male role model could help these boys stay out of trouble in the future. We also recognize the value of prevention, providing a positive adult role model for children before they get in trouble in the first place. We have some children in our program who already have troubles such as low grades, poor school attendance or discipline problems, or who live in homes or environments that put them at risk for developing problems. Other children in our program are doing well and we want to help keep it that way.
Building Assets: We are very focused on helping children build and maintain The 40 Development Assets, also known as the building blocks of childhood. Research shows that the more of these assets a child has, the more likely they are to grow up healthy, caring and responsible. Bigs learn more about The 40 Developmental Assets during volunteer training.
Children who participate in BBBS are proven to be more likely to stay out of trouble, stay in school and graduate high school.