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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult & Child Matching Programs, Children & Youth

Mission: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Target demographics: youth (5-25 years old)

Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,000+ at-risk youth

Geographic areas served: Miami-Dade County

Programs: Whether through one-to-one mentoring or Group Engagement & Mentoring (GEM), youth benefit from a positive role model who stands in their corner to advocate for them and help them reach their full potential. For over 60 years, BBBSM has been South Florida’s premier mentoring organization, defending the potential of future leaders in the community by matching at-risk youth (Littles) with committed adult mentors (Bigs). These relationships – strategically matched based on Bigs’ and Littles’ interests and personalities – ignite the Littles’ potential, allowing them to achieve success in life and become productive citizens. Building upon the core one-to-one mentoring model, BBBSM has developed innovative programs to meet the community’s needs. These include Bigs in Schools, in which Bigs visit their Littles at school once a week; School to Work, in which Littles are transported from school to their Bigs' place of work once a month; Bigs in Blue/Red, which local police officers/firefighters serve as Bigs; and the Graduate Program, which provides Littles who otherwise would have aged out of the BBBS programs with support as they transition into college or trade school and the early stages of adulthood. BBBSM has also implemented Group Engagement & Mentoring (GEM) to serve more children in a safe and controlled environment. Taking place at the BBBSM headquarters, the Carnival Center for Excellence, GEM focuses on after-school programming and Big Saturdays, when Littles come to the Carnival Center for a full day of programming over the weekend. Littles engage in carefully-designed activities that are evidenced to have long-term positive impacts in the following areas: Academic Enrichment, Workforce Development, Digital Literacy, Health & Wellness, and Music & Arts.

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Graduate Little of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami Community-Based program, I am honored to be a beneficiary. I was matched with my Big Sister (mentor) for eight years and we have continued our friendship even after our match closed. Before I met my Big Sister, I had little self-confidence, no ambitions and was failing in school. My mother neglected me and my three siblings and my father had been incarcerated my whole life. I never really had a strong role model until I began living with my grandfather and even through difficult times, My Big was always there for me and my siblings. Had it not been for her guidance and support, I don't think I would have ever graduated from high school, let alone be a college graduate and even where I am now, a recent Master's Degree graduate. I am so thankful for this program and can attest to the life-changes that occur through these one-to-one mentoring relationships. My Big Sisters saved my life, she gave me the hope and encouragement that I needed. I will forever be grateful to her and this program.

Comments ( 1 )

BBBSMiami Hello Dee! We are so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Big and the mentorship she provided!! Your accomplishments are inspiring to others who also find themselves in difficult situations, and we are incredibly proud of you! We're currently re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

1 Joey E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization that matched me with a perfect child which makes the experience easy and fantastic! They follow up all the time and have events going constantly so we have different things to do!
Kind, friendly, positive, can't get better than that!

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Joey! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little! We're re-connecting with former Bigs to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The entire experience for me has been great. I have had the opportunity to meet a little girl that will forever be in my heart. I am very pleased with my experience and will definitely be a part of this program for a long time to come.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Joshua S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well, I now have my first little brother ever. I'm an only child. So I've always looked up to adults for insights on life as I had no older brother to fill that role. For the first time, someone might be looking up to me. It's exhilarating and a responsibility, too. I have a lot to learn from my little bro who is lives in a low-income environment, but is super smart and deserves the same opportunities as any other young adult. I look forward to sharing mutual life-lesson experiences with him in his teen years and beyond. Big Brothers/Big Sisters makes that possible.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Joshua! We're so happy to hear that you shared your experiences with your Little and that you recognize that all kids have the potential to do BIG things! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I've been with them for a year and i enjoy spending time with my little. She is fun and we have alot in common. This is a great organization and they do a great deal for this kids in our community.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Mikala M.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Moving to a new city can be a difficult time. I have always had a passion for giving back to the community and was fortunate to be a part of a big family where I fell in the middle among my siblings. With being from a big family there was always someone for me to look up to and I know that not everyone has that, so I decided to be that for someone else. Big Brothers Big Sister gives me the opportunity to do just that and so far I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of having a little!

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Mikala! We're so happy that you shared your experiences with a Little and that you had a great experience as a Big! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a Big Brother (mentor) and I've been paired with my Little Brother for 3 1/2 great years. He was 8 when we met; now he's 12. To sum up our friendship - as much as I feel like he has grown through our time together, I've grown just as much, if not more. I'm more grateful for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) than I could ever express. On a macro level, for decades, they've moved mountains in the lives of children all over, and on a personal, they've introduced me to a friend for life. Incidentally, I met my girlfriend, who is a Big Sister to another child, through BBBS, also 3 1/2 years ago. We've been together pretty much since then, and I'll be proposing to her in August (you're invited to the proposal, invitation attached). Of all volunteer experiences that I've ever had, BBBS has changed MY life the most, far and away.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Rob! We're so happy to hear that you and Erin had great experiences with your Littles! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as alumni? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Jorge3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with BBBS- Greater Miami was wonderful. Everyone i met at the office was very friendly and helpful. My Match specialist Priya was very knowledgeable about the program and also what it takes to be a Big. She spoke from experience and gave sound advice. She helped address my concerns and made me feel ready and up for the challenge of being a Big. I was also impressed with how closely BBBS and its staff like Priya work with the families in the community and help them find Bigs that would be the best fit for their children. This is overall a great organization and I recommend it to anyone who is ready for the challenge.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Jorge! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little and with Priya! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've enjoyed my experience with BBBS. The management and staff has been extremely supportive and informative, and I've truly felt that they are 100% committed to changing the lives of the children enrolled in the program. Each time I've had a question or concern, BBBS has gone above and beyond in regards to advising me on my current situation and helping me communicate with my Little's parent. My time with my Little has been enjoyable also. Although I'm frequently frustrated with some of his bad habits, I'm confident that spending time with him has helped him see a world that he is not currently exposed to - and although slowly - he has been changing his behavior for the better. I would recommend this program to my friends and family.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little and that you helped lessen his bad habits! That's what we're all about - making an impact that may seem small at first but that has BIG implications later on in life. We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only been involved with BBBS of Greater Miami for about a month now, and it is something that I will never regret doing. It has been an amazing experience so far, and my Little Sister is truly something special. She comes from a family of poverty, but by the way she acts and the way she dreams, you'd never know. She is only 13, but is very wise in her years because of her situation, and I know that in the future she will be extremely successful. After a month I realize that I joined the program thinking I was going to change someone elses life, but instead, she is slowly changing mine.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Myra C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Big Sister for 8 years and have been matched twice. My first Little SIster just turned 21 years old in May. We were matched since she was 13 years old. My experience with Sam has been amazing. She is a part of my family and I couldn't imagine my life without her. My second match was in the School-based program. I was matched with a Little Sister that was repeating the 3rd grade because she failed the FCAT. I'm happy to report that she just graduated from the 5th grade. Being a mentor has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has taught me the real value of "time". Everyone has the ability to positiviely impact the life of a child. I thank Big Brothers Big Sisters for giving me the gift of friendship.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Myra! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with both Sam and your second Little! It's amazing how much of an impact we can make just by spending time with someone!! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shortly after I moved to Miami, I started volunteering for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Miami (BBBS). After completing grad school and starting a good job, I wanted to give back to the community and make a difference in someone else's life. I searched for various organizations and BBBS fullfilled everything I was looking for. I have been matched with my little brother T.J. for about 2 years now and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I truly enjoy spending time with TJ. Personally, I was fortunate enough to have an older brother who kept me in check, out of trouble and who gave me the friend and mentor I needed. Unfortunately, many kids do not have that luxury and it has been so rewarding to spend time with TJ and see him become more responsible in his school work as well as athletic training. BBBS did such an excellent job matching TJ and I and I am sure this will be a very long friendship! I can only highly recommend to anyone to volunteer as a big and sign up for BBBS.

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with TJ, and we are incredibly thankful that you decided to share your experiences with a Little through BBBS!! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I reached a point in my life where I felt I had time to volunteer. I contacted Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. I told them about myself, after a couple of months, I was matched with a delightful 10 year old girl. I always wondered how BBBS would be able to protect children from getting a "Big" who would not have the child's best interests at heart. From my experience, I quickly learned that the organization rigorously screens all potential Bigs and keeps a close eye on the relationship between Bigs & Littles. My time with my Little is absolutely the highlight of my week. Besides matching Bigs & Littles, BBBS sponsors great field trips, activities & holiday parties. BBBS is a top notch organization that makes a big difference in not only the children's lives but also the volunteer's. After spending a year with my Little, I attended her 5th grade graduation. The principal gives an award, voted on by all the teachers of a child who had risen up through a challenge and changed the most in positive way. The award is called the Phoenix Award and as the principal was describing the student before announcing the name, I knew who it was, my Little!

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little and that you helped her get the Phoenix Award! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Demetria W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Big since 2005. I elected at the time to have my college organization branch of the NAACP to take on the task of community volunteerism. I feel in love with the aims and goals of Big Brothers and Big Sisters as well as see the pressing needs of funding and the recruitment of more volunteers especially men! I have been matched to my little for almost six years now and indeed it has been a pleasant and at times a rough journey due to the weathering of life. Despite my personal issues, I continue to press on with my match as well as having the assistance of my current match support specialist.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Demetria! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little and that you stuck with her through good times and bad! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being part of Big Brother's, Big Sisters has been a wonderful experience. My husband and I have enjoyed being Bigs and as we have been matched with the most wonderful Littles and their family. Big Brother's Big Sisters has given us a chance to not only help a child but also expeience the love and affection of a whole family. This family has become part of our extended family and we are greatful to be part of such a wonderful organization!!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Beatriz! We're so happy to hear that you and your husband had a great experience with your Little and the whole family! We always say that BBBS is an extended family, and we're happy that you felt that, as well. We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as alumni? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Arturo R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The concept is great. There are plenty of kids out there on the border who just need a little guidance to help them out. My kid was always negative, saying he didn't like this or that. I encouraged him to try. He liked it so much he now has a new hobby - building models.

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Arturo! We're so happy that you took on the challenge of helping a child explore possibilities and discover a new hobby! We're currently re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Big Brother with BBBS of Greater Miami since 2009 and have seen first hand the incredible impact that the organization makes on the Miami area landscape and especially with respect to disadvantaged kids who would otherwise likely be part of the ever growing negative statistics. As someone who was raised in one of the local communities which is served by BBBS and now as a Big Brother, I'm incredibly humbled and proud to be part of BBBS and look forward to many more years together.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you are giving back to your community through mentorship! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was matched with my Little Brother just over a year ago. We've gone through so much together, and many of the experiences have been thanks to BBBS and its partners/donors that make it possible for matches to attend local community events that wouldn't necessarily be within my reach to share with my Little. Some of these great activities have been going to see Cirque Eloize, going to the Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Science, Marlins' game, Dolphins' football camp, and more. When I signed up for the program, I did it so I could help a kid in my community, but I've gotten so much more than that already. My Little (10 yo) has already asked me what will happen if he loses my number when he goes to college...Like the agency says "Little moments, Big Magic".

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little and that we were able to help provide special experiences for the two of you! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was proudly given a little at Pine Villa Elementary. At first I noticed my Little was 11 years old and in the 2nd grade. I quickly started working with her on her reading. We read a different book every time I met with her, which was about once a week for approximetly an hour. Her reading Improved dramatically. She quickly started moving up on her reading grade level within a few months. By the end of the year she was above her grade level in the FCAT. I also noticed my littles grades were not accepatble her first grading period. She had D's and F's in both her class and conduct. She also had 2's and 3's in effort. By her next grading period she gradually started improving. By her 4th and final report card she obtained A's and B;s and 1's in effort. I am very proud to be a big sister. I really enjoyed every minute of it and wouldn't change the program for the world!

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hello! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with our organization! The impact you made on your Little is invaluable!! We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumna? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I contacted Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami in August 1996 to express my interest in becoming a volunteer. My initial interest was in becoming a school based volunteer but the representative that I spoke to explained that as a Black male I was the least represented among Community based volunteers. I agreed to participate in the Community program and was matched shortly thereafter to a seven year old child. My match lasted eleven years and that seven year old boy is now twenty three years old, is a U.S. Army veteran and presently is pursuing a Nursing Degree. I was fortunate enough to be named Big Brother of The Year in 1998, which is the greatest individual honor that I have ever received. Big Brothers Big Sisters allowed me the opportunity to enter the life a young child who needed a friend, and thanks to their professional guidance and the variety of activities that are available for the matches, I was able to build relationships with many other volunteers. I was also able to watch young people who were not supposed to succeed become college graduates.

Comments ( 1 )

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BBBSMiami 10/16/2018

Hi Brian! We're so happy to hear that you had a great experience with your Little! And congratulations on being Big Brother of the Year - and on the accomplishments your Little has made!! What he has done is definitely because of your positive influence. We're re-connecting with former Bigs and Littles to establish a BBBS Alumni Association. Can you please fill out this form (https://lnkd.in/ehJfzZU) to register as an alumnus? We're planning special events and exclusive alumni opportunities for those who are interested. If you have any questions about this, contact us at info@bbbsmiami.org and mention Alumni in the subject line. Thanks, and hope to connect soon!!