Mission: Big Brothers Big Sisters Of Greater Miami, founded in 1958, is a volunteer and donor based youth mentoring organization, serving children, ages 5-18, with positive adult role models.
Programs: Our "mentoring menu of program services" includes: community-based program: our "signature" program; big brothers big sisters provide one-to-one mentoring, a few hours a couple of times a month. "school-based program: one-to-one mentoring that takes place at school one hour per week. School to work program: employee mentors are paired with high school students at their worksites for four hours a month during the school year. At present, there are 50 corporate partners that support this innovative program. Special programs: we have other program options available, such as group mentoring, big fitness, bigs in blue, bigs in red & mentoring children of promise (a targeted program that provides a mentor for children with an incarcerated parent). The mentoring resource center (mrc), a division of bbbs, provides training, consultation and volunteer referral services for a network of 30-50 agencies who serve children in need. All matches are carefully screened and supervised by our team of professional social workers. All services are free to the volunteers and children, who are encouraged to take advantage of the free tickets and social/educational activities that are offered to help make the "match" a truly unforgettable experience. National research projects include: thrive youth-centered match support study (federal funding through the office of juvenile justice delinquency prevention to big brothers big sisters of america). This three- year project (2011-2014) is a partnership with bbbsa & university of illinois-chicago and the thrive foundation. Big brothers big sisters of greater miami is one of 11 sites participating in this project. The mentoring enhancement grant (meg) is a 3-year project (2012-2015) in partnership with broward/palm beach/martin county bbbs agencies. Bbbs of greater miami serves as the fiscal/program lead. Bbbsgm is one of 10 sites across the country participating in this national project that includes an external evaluation/research component. Bbbsgm received a state of florida department of education performance based grant that will serve the booker t washington feeder pattern schools. This 1. 5 million award (through june 2014) is in collaboration with miami-dade county public schools, florida international university, catalyst miami, the parent academy, office of education transformation, and the office of community engagement. Through these various programs, we served over 6,000 children, parents and volunteers during fiscal year 2013-2014. A total of 2,124 matches were served during the year. Our waiting list continues to exceed 1,000 children due to the increasing demands in the community and the effects of the economic recession in our community. Other impact stats include: bbbs programs provided almost 10,000 youth with a big brother or a big sister in the past five years, positively impacting their lives, their families and our community. The class of 2014 was our largest graduating class ever231 youth. 95% of our "class of 2014" bbbs graduates are planning to attend college. Over 1. 2m in scholarships were awarded to bbbs youth over the past 5 years with many attending top ranked universities in the u. S. When asked about the impact of big brothers big sisters in their lives, most graduates respond by saying, 'they saved me' or 'i will be the first in my family to go to college and achieve my dreams. ' the life-long impact of our program has been proven through independent research and through our ongoing outcome based programming where we survey and baseline our kids before and after they are matched. The results demonstrate that kids in the bbbsgm program perform better in school, relate better to their peers, gain self confidence, stay away from drugs and alcohol and many go to graduate high school and go on to college or continuing education program. Bbbsgm has been deemed an evidence based youth prevention program" in miami dade county and from the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention.
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.