We serve boys and girls in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties from all racial, religious, and economic backgrounds. Our core program focuses on children ages 7-16 who desire a friendship with an adult volunteer. While we focus on youth 7-16, matched youth can stay in our program until they are 18.
Have more confidence
Steer clear of drugs and alcohol
Show improved school performance
Have better family relationships
Hold more self-esteem
When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match.
Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister. Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
Approving activities and outings for your child and their Big
Asking your child questions about those outings, and sharing what you learn with the agency staff
Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time)
Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, and communicating with your child about the training he or she receives
Making the best possible match between Little and Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, we start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process to ensure the child's safety that includes:
Completion of a formal written application
Background and reference check
An in-person interview
An orientation and training process that outlines the individualized needs of your child and provides information and resources on how to encourage your child's development
Big Brothers Big Sisters also provides child safety tips to you and your child, and we welcome your questions and feedback. Throughout the life of the match, our professional staff will be in ongoing communication with you, your child, and your child's Big. It’s the best way to build a strong relationship that will have the greatest impact on your child’s future success.
Across programs, the foundation model remains the same: one child (“Little”) is intentionally “matched” with an adult volunteer (“Big”) in a long-term, professionally supported mentoring relationship. And no matter when a child enters a program, there’s no limit to where he or she can go.
Meet Cindi and Carlos!
Cindi has been a long-time mentor, working with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. In recent years, she has been a Big at our Lunch Buddies program at Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy in Detroit. During this program, Cindi was matched with Carlos in fall of 2015.
Carlos, is the second oldest child with 6 brothers and sisters at home! As you can imagine, Mom needs lots of help from Carlos, so when Cindi wanted to transition into meeting outside of just the Site Based program at school, she thought it was a great opportunity for Carlos to try new activities and have some fun!
Meet Mario and Aaron!
"He is like a real big brother to me." - Aaron
Big Brother Mario and Little Brother Aaron met for the first time in June 2016 and have been steadily building their relationship ever since. Being the middle sibling, Aaron’s mom felt he needed someone to spend time with; someone who is a positive male role model, consistent and a good conversationalist that can help Aaron stay on a good path and try new things. Mario turned out to be exactly that. They both very much enjoy attending sporting events and playing video games.
This is the most well-known BBBS national research mentoring model, which matches youth with volunteers who share common interests and activities that they plan together, simply sharing everyday experiences.
Bigs and Littles meet for supervised sessions at a dedicated site, such as a school or a community center with adult mentors. Still experiencing a one-to-one mentoring relationship.
Lunch Buddies/After School. Aimed at engaging elementary aged youth during their lunch time, matches explore activities around academic success, self-confidence and decision-making.
The focus of this program is aimed at engaging youth with adult mentors in educational and fun activities that explore various themes of youth development. Each volunteer is matched with one student who they will work with for the entire school year (and beyond!). During scheduled meeting times, matches participate in activities that are planned and facilitated by a Site-Based Specialist.