Mission: Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, foreveraccountability statement: we partner with parents/guardians, volunteers and others in the community and hold ourselves accountable for each child in our program achieving:*higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships*avoidance of risky behaviors*educational success
Programs: Big brothers big sisters of central minnesota is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that believes that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. We provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. The big brothers big sisters youth outcomes summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven positive academic, social-emotional and behavior outcomes for youth, and is linked to long-term outcomes such as high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency, and college or job readiness. Big brothers big sisters of central minnesota serves five counties: stearns, benton, sherburne, morrison, and the northern tier of wright county. We provide service to over 750 children each year and target those that need us most including those living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty (70% of the children we served last year were from households below 200% of federal poverty guidelines), dealing with a mental health diagnosis, and coping with parental incarceration. In addition, many of the children in our program have a developmental disability, have been bullied, and/or struggle academically or socially. Safety is our highest priority. The youth (littles) and mentors (bigs) in our program are carefully matched only after the bigs have been thoroughly screened and trained, and the littles strengths, needs, vulnerabilities, and interests have been identified and addressed. Through our careful, professional matching, we are confident that these one-to-one relationships will be life-changing and will give our littles new opportunities that they previously did not have. Our professional staff, along with our littles and their parent/teacher/guardian identify unique goals for each child that their big can help them accomplish. Through our careful, professional matching, we are confident that each child's one-to-one relationship will positively impact their lives by starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future. By serving as a mentor, role model, and friend, bigs positively contribute to the child's social, emotional, and character development. Big brothers big sisters of central minnesota offers three distinct program options:community-based mentoring: children are matched with a big brother, big sister, big couple or big family and meet with them 2-3 times a month for at least 2 hours in the community. Bigs are able to transport their littles and attend events, go shopping, go out to eat, spend time at the volunteer's home, or do other activities that they both enjoy. School-based mentoring: children meet with their mentor on school grounds for about an hour each week. School-based matched enjoy playing board games, doing arts & crafts, reviewing homework, or just talking. School-based mentoring allows us to serve a far greater number of youth facing adversity with a greatly increased pool of potential mentors due to a more adaptable time commitment and a convenient meeting site. This initiative offers the opportunity for high school students to be mentors and is supported by business participants. Site-based mentoring: children meet with their mentor for one hour each week at a central and public location within their neighborhood (i. E. At boys & girls club). This program allows at-risk youth to interact with their "big" at a facility that is close to home, safe, and familiar. This opportunity assists school-age youth who are in a high-need, targeted community or neighborhood. In addition to the numerous benefits provided through mentoring relationships, each year our agency offers over 40 educational and enriching activities for youth that incorporate college and career readiness, arts & culture, community engagement, health, and fitness. We provide guidance, training, and services to youth who serve as mentors (high school bigs) in our program. Big brothers big sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between volunteers ("bigs") and children ("littles"), ages 5 through 18. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. We hold ourselves accountable for each child in our program achieving:*higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships*avoidance of risky behaviors*educational success big brothers big sisters works with other community members/organizations for solutions to common challenges. We believe that families are best served when the resources of the broader community are leveraged; creating a wide network of support that goes beyond the abilities of one existing agency. Our agency continually works in collaboration with other youth/family serving organizations such as boys & girls clubs, boy scouts, girl scouts, blend, law enforcement agencies, school districts, etc. , creating effective, systemic change. We also refer the services of other area agencies in the best interest of the child and/or family. Such recommendations may include counseling services, social services, and intervention services. Recent awards/recognition-big brothers big sisters was named the #1 nonprofit for at-risk youth by guidestar's philanthropedia, earning philanthropedia's top ranking on a list of most recommended, high-impact national nonprofits serving at-risk youth. (guidestar usa, inc. Is an information service specializing in reporting on u. S. Nonprofit companies). -the mentoring partnership of minnesota (mpm) honored big brothers big sisters of central minnesota with the bob dayton quality mentoring award in the innovation category for the bigs in blue program (2013). -in 2014, big brothers big sisters of central minnesota established the brianna kruzel growing up big award to honor brianna kruzel, a former little sister and high school big sister, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in september 2013. We awarded brianna posthumous in 2014 and have awarded a deserving candidate annually at our gala. -big brothers big sisters of central minnesota is one of only sixteen organizations in the state that has received "expert" status from the mentoring partnership of minnesota. -for seven consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), mentors from our agency received statewide recognition by being awarded as minnesota's "big brother of the year and/or "big sister of the year".