Big Brothers & Big Sisters,
Children & Youth
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, forever.
Programs: Community based mentoringbig brothers big sisters of the greater twin cities' (bbbs) community-based program is our original mentoring model, where an adult mentor is matched with a child, typically ages 8 12 at the time of the match. We provide professional support in making that match and ongoing professional support. The parents/guardians are required to be actively engaged with the match. Our matches are professionally supported until the mentee (little brother or little sister) graduates from high school or reaches age 18, or the match closes at the request of one of the participants or the agency. Matches meet two to four times a month at a time and location that works for all participants, and matches engage in a variety of activities that help strengthen the mentorship and assist the childs development everything from enjoying mutual interests, such as playing board games or working on homework to learning new skills or attending a movie or sports game. Additionally, bbbs offers regular match activities throughout the community such as arts introductions, sports clinics, picnics, games, cultural events, and a variety of learning opportunities.
site based mentoringlike the community-based mentoring program, bbbs site-based mentoring pairs children with volunteer mentors, and matches meet at a bbbs-approved location regularly, typically meeting a school weekly throughout the school year, during or immediately after the school day. The site-based program is unique in the fact that not all mentors are adults we have a high school mentors program that pairs high school students with elementary school youth, and we have staff on-site supporting these matches during their weekly meetings. In addition to supporting the little brothers and sisters, bbbs also provides a variety of training, leadership development and career and college readiness services to the high school mentors. The program served little brothers and sisters from 30 different schools in fy 2014, including schools in saint paul, minneapolis, suburban hennepin county, and washington county. Through the beyond school walls variation of our program, we served youth in partner schools to transport them to one of three corporate sites for biweekly mentoring sessions with their bigs.
education and enrichment (e&e)since 2006, bbbs of the greater twin cities has been providing education and enrichment programming to encourage the youth it serves to complete high school and plan for their college and career futures. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 575 youth participated in at least one of bbbs education and enrichment activities. The majority of youth served through the program are in active mentoring relationships and already being served through the community-based and site-based mentoring program, but the education team also serves former littles and former high school bigs (our alumni), and some other youth who come to us through partnerships. The types of services offered include focus on college and career readiness and exploration, college planning and admissions, and health and wellness skills and knowledge development. For instance, bbbs offers individual college counseling (including college application and financial assistance application preparation), a college club with college tours, topical workshops and fairs, career exploration events, referrals to apprenticeship and job training programs, summer work opportunities (such as step up and right track), and sexual health training and programming, focusing on preventing teen parenting, and leadership development opportunities. Mentors and parents/guardians are invited to join the youth during the events to give the youth a wider support system.
other services that support and enhance the three major programs are enrollment of children and volunteers, and program administration, which includes child safety training.