A Big Brother, Big Sister, or Big Couple becomes a friend, confidant and mentor. The relationship provides the Little with an increased sense of belonging, and often leads to enhanced communication skills and improved performance at home, school and in the community. The Bigs and Littles have fun together and, ultimately, the volunteer benefits too by “giving something back” and truly making a difference in the life of a child.
Each carefully screened Big commits to being matched with their Little for a minimum of one year and may remain matched until the Little graduates from high school. Many of the mentoring relationships continue long after their formal closure. Together they share experiences, accomplishments and concerns. A professional caseworker provides supervision and support, and works with the volunteer, child and family to set goals for the match.
The agency also sponsors bimonthly group activities for both matched and unmatched Littles. These activities include holiday dinners, an annual pool party, car rally and other activities.
A Record of Success!
ONE-TO-ONE mentoring changes lives! Through the power of ONE-TO-ONE mentoring, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, MD, Inc. (BBBS) is preparing Washington County’s next generation of leaders. There is no question that these special Littles will benefit our entire community for decades to come.
The mentoring programs offered by BBBS are evidence-based and have a significant return on investment. Research has found that Littles served by Big Brothers Big Sisters achieve better educational outcomes, avoid more risky behaviors, and have better relationships with family members than their peers who are not working with a mentor. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy estimates a $4.87 return for every $1 spent on youth mentoring.
78% of our Littles improved in the area of Educational Outcomes (grades, attitude, behavior).
79% of our Littles improved in the area of Avoidance of Risky Behaviors (avoiding delinquency, substance abuse, and early parenting).
85% of our Littles improved in the area of Better Relationships (self-confidence, relationships with family & peers).
A Brief History
Serving Littles in the community since 1956, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, MD, Inc. is an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the oldest and largest mentoring organization in the country. Policy and program guidelines are established by a community-based board of directors in accordance with national program standards and practices.
This year is a special milestone as BBBS celebrates 60 years of providing ONE-TO-ONE mentoring for children in Washington County! Through these ONE-TO-ONE friendships, BBBS has helped many of our community’s children increase their self-confidence, reach their full potential, and see themselves – often for the first time – as having happy and successful futures.