Be a Big

Together, We Are Defenders of Potential

Thank you for your interest in being a Big and igniting the potential of a child in need! Right now, 56 kids in the Great Lakes Bay Region are waiting for you right now.

Mentors are the guiding force that help local at-risk youth achieve better grades in school, improve their self-esteem and social acceptance or stay away from drugs, alcohol or violence. Your commitment creates a positive trajectory that helps kids achieve more as they grow into young adults.

Don’t wait! A local child needs you right now.

The Process

Step 1

Apply

Apply

Fill out your online application, or give us a call at 844.4BE.ABIG, and let us know you’re ready to become a Defender of Potential.

Step 2

Interview

Interview

You meet with a match coordinator to answer your questions. We learn more about you, your interests and comfort level. This helps us make sure we’re making the best possible match.

Step 3

Background

Background

Child safety is our #1 priority. This is why all of our prospective Bigs must undergo a background check, driving record check and home visit.

Step 4

Match Meeting

Match Meeting

Once we’ve identified the best match for you, you meet your prospective new Little and their guardian(s). If everyone is happy, then you’re matched!

Step 5

Match Support

Match Support

We strive to make quality matches that last. Therefore your match coordinator gets in touch with you regularly to check up on your match, and help with any concern.

The Process

Step 1: Apply

Fill out your online application, or give us a call at 844.4BE.ABIG, and let us know you’re ready to become a Defender of Potential.

Step 2: Interview

You meet with a match coordinator to answer your questions. We learn more about you, your interests and comfort level. This helps us make sure we’re making the best possible match.

Step 3: Background

Child safety is our #1 priority. This is why all of our prospective Bigs must undergo a background check, driving record check and home visit.

Step 4: Match Meeting

Once we’ve identified the best match for you, you meet your prospective new Little and their guardian(s). If everyone is happy, then you’re matched!

Step 5: Match Support

We strive to make quality matches that last. Therefore your match coordinator gets in touch with you regularly to check up on your match, and help with any concern.

big josh

A Note About Child Safety

The safety and well-being of the children we serve is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. Before making a match, our Match Coordinators carefully screen all volunteers to be sure we not only make a match that lasts, but that kids are safe.Each prospective volunteer must complete a thorough screening process that includes:

  • Completion of a formal written application
  • Criminal history record check and a driver’s license record check
  • Personal references
  • In-person interviews
  • Home assessment

Learn more about our commitment to child safety.

A Note About Child Safety

The safety and well-being of the children we serve is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. Before making a match, our Match Coordinators carefully screen all volunteers to be sure we not only make a match that lasts, but that kids are safe.Each prospective volunteer must complete a thorough screening process that includes:

  • Completion of a formal written application
  • Criminal history record check and a driver’s license record check
  • Personal references
  • In-person interviews
  • Home assessment

Learn more about our commitment to child safety.

FAQs

How Am I Matched With a Child?

The enrollment and interview process helps us to get to know your preferences, as well as the situation best suited for you. It also helps you get to know us and the program expectations. Your Match Coordinator takes into account your personality, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background, and location. But the final decision is yours.

How Do Kids Join the Program?

Kids and parents may hear about BBBS from a teacher, counselor, church, friend, commercials, etc. All kids and their parents choose to be in our program.

Learn more about enrolling a child

Who Are the Kids in the Program?

Our Littles come from many types of home environments and family structures, different social-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and neighborhoods and schools across all communities. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have the need for a caring adult mentor.

What Kind of Time Commitment is Expected of Me?

Good news! If you can commit at least 2-3 times per month, you have the time to change the life of a child. We ask for a minimum commitment of one year. However, many matches last much longer!

When Can I See My Little?

Our Bigs and Littles decide together what they want to do, and then they get parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and that you see each other on a regular basis. Your Match Coordinator will provide specific guidelines on expected frequency of activities with your Little. Until your relationship is established, the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parent, your Little, and you. If your Little is younger, a shorter outing might be better.

How Much Money Should/Will I Spend?

We discourage you from spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is friendship. You should focus your time on getting to know each other. We encourage you to seek out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Our local events directory is a great resource for activities you and your Little might enjoy! You may also receive notices for opportunities for free tickets for you and your match to attend a variety of cultural and sports activities.

What Are Some Things I Could Do With My Little?

Share an activity that gives you a chance to enjoy something in common. Buy a comic book to read to each other, play a board game or take a ride in the car with the radio on while you discuss music! You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: have FUN! Our local events directory is a great resource for activities you and your Little might enjoy.

Can I Bring My Spouse/Freind or Family Member?

In the beginning, it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This happens best on a one-to-one basis. Over time, however, it can be valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. Remember that the main focus is the friendship YOU have with your Little. If you have questions about outings, contact your Match Coordinator for guidelines or suggestions.

What Kind of Support Can I Expect From BBBS?

Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Coordinator from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Anytime you’re unsure about what to do, or how to handle a situation, you’ll have a Match Coordinator there to help. They can offer ideas for activities, guidance for handling difficult situations, and feedback on how you’re making a difference, just by showing up!

FAQs

How Am I Matched With a Child?

The enrollment and interview process helps us to get to know your preferences, as well as the situation best suited for you. It also helps you get to know us and the program expectations. Your Match Coordinator takes into account your personality, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background, and location. But the final decision is yours.

How Do Kids Join the Program?

Kids and parents may hear about BBBS from a teacher, counselor, church, friend, commercials, etc. All kids and their parents choose to be in our program.

Learn more about enrolling a child

Who Are the Kids in the Program?

Our Littles come from many types of home environments and family structures, different social-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and neighborhoods and schools across all communities. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have the need for a caring adult mentor.

What Kind of Time Commitment is Expected of Me?

Good news! If you can commit at least 2-3 times per month, you have the time to change the life of a child. We ask for a minimum commitment of one year. However, many matches last much longer!

When Can I See My Little?

Our Bigs and Littles decide together what they want to do, and then they get parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and that you see each other on a regular basis. Your Match Coordinator will provide specific guidelines on expected frequency of activities with your Little. Until your relationship is established, the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parent, your Little, and you. If your Little is younger, a shorter outing might be better.

How Much Money Should/Will I Spend?

We discourage you from spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is friendship. You should focus your time on getting to know each other. We encourage you to seek out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Our local events directory is a great resource for activities you and your Little might enjoy! You may also receive notices for opportunities for free tickets for you and your match to attend a variety of cultural and sports activities.

What Are Some Things I Could Do With My Little?

Share an activity that gives you a chance to enjoy something in common. Buy a comic book to read to each other, play a board game or take a ride in the car with the radio on while you discuss music! You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: have FUN! Our local events directory is a great resource for activities you and your Little might enjoy.

Can I Bring My Spouse/Freind or Family Member?

In the beginning, it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This happens best on a one-to-one basis. Over time, however, it can be valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. Remember that the main focus is the friendship YOU have with your Little. If you have questions about outings, contact your Match Coordinator for guidelines or suggestions.

What Kind of Support Can I Expect From BBBS?

Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Coordinator from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Anytime you’re unsure about what to do, or how to handle a situation, you’ll have a Match Coordinator there to help. They can offer ideas for activities, guidance for handling difficult situations, and feedback on how you’re making a difference, just by showing up!

Mentoring Programs

new community based home

Community Based Mentoring

You and a child participate in everyday activities together on average of two to three times per month. You help that child build confidence and skills. Mentors can be individuals, couples or families.

lbl home

Lunchbox Learners

Lunchbox Learners focuses on helping children in grades K – 3 improve their reading skills. You meet with a student once a week during the student’s lunch hour to read books, play word games and make reading fun!

teaming up with youth home

Teaming Up With Youth

Local high school students team up with elementary students in this weekly after school program. Teaming Up With Youth Littles improve their academic, social, and relationship skills.

Mentoring Programs

new community based home

Community Based Mentoring

You and a child participate in everyday activities together on average of two to three times per month. You help that child build confidence and skills. Mentors can be individuals, couples or families.

lbl home

Lunchbox Learners

Lunchbox Learners focuses on helping children in grades K – 3 improve their reading skills. You meet with a student once a week during the student’s lunch hour to read books, play word games and make reading fun!

teaming up with youth home

Teaming Up With Youth

Local high school students team up with elementary students in this weekly after school program. Teaming Up With Youth Littles improve their academic, social, and relationship skills.

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