When Big Brothers Big Sisters programming comes to mind, most people think of our Community Based Program. This program creates one-to-one relationships between "Bigs" (an adult mentor) and "Littles" (a child between the ages of 7 and 16). These Big-Little friendships focus on low to no-cost activities and have outings that typically take place in the community, doing things they both enjoy together, like:
Positive adult mentors make a huge difference in a child's life. National and local studies show that children who have role models are more likely to improve in school and in their relationships with family and friends, and less likely to skip school or use illegal drugs or alcohol. Students who are successful in school are less likely to drop out, abuse drugs, or commit crimes. In fact, the success of children enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program was demonstrated in a nationwide randomized study.
Interested in becoming a volunteer in our community-based program? Click here.
Work Place Partners
School to Work Mentoring
Students today face numerous challenges and many youth in our community leave school lacking the basic employability skills for available positions in the workplace. School to Work offers a unique way to tackle these issues by providing students the benefits of career path goal-setting, soft skill development, and motivation to graduate with the added support of a 1-to-1 friendship. Corporate partners benefit from a turnkey approach to meet philanthropic goals while supporting employee development and morale.
In 2014, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana successfully launched the School to Work mentoring initiative: an innovative approach to our traditional 1-to-1 mentoring programs. This initiative first took off through wonderful partnerships with Seneca High School, Humana, and PwC. By 2015, the program grew by over 400%, with over 80 local students benefitting from a supportive mentor in combination with monthly curriculum and workplace visits through the School to Work program.
This innovative program now has over 15 work place partners and has seen hundreds of local teens graduate from high school, obtain scholarships, and begin pursuing their dreams in college and the workforce!
How Does It Work?
Outcomes collected from Year 1 of School to Work highlight the effectiveness and need for the program in our community. Of Scholars enrolled:
School/ Site-Based Mentoring
It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best place to help a child realize their potential is at school. Kids enjoy having their Bigs meet with them there, whether it’s in the classroom, at lunch, or on the playground. And parents have seen what a positive impact it makes!
Some of the biggest supporters of our school-based mentoring program are actually teachers. They see students come back from their time with their Big filled with confidence, smiling, ready to learn, and eager to succeed.
Learning about life.
Although it takes place at schools, our school-based mentoring program isn’t limited to the classroom. Of course, some Littles do talk with their Bigs about class, do homework, or read together, but it’s perfectly fine to shoot hoops in the gym or play on the playground. At the end of the day, it's really all about starting a friendship, providing guidance, and inspiring them to reach their potential.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we have tremendous confidence in our ability to impact children and put them on the right path. But, it means even more when an outside study comes to the same conclusion. Click to learn more about our Nationwide School-Based Mentoring Study.
*Page content developed, formatted, and created by Valerie DiGangi, MA, NCC and Marianna Strasz, MSSW*