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To be a Defender of Potential if...

Basic Requirements:

  • Be 21 years of age or older

  • Have a valid driver’s license

  • Willing to commit to a minimum one-year experience

  • Reside within Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne County, Michigan

Potential Bigs must also be willing to do the following:

  • Participate in a Volunteer Orientation

  • Complete the Volunteer Enrollment Process

  • Work with BBBS staff during the matching process

  • Connect with your Little regularly and meet consistently for at least four hours per month

  • Maintain ongoing communication with the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff

  • Complete additional training as requested

Methods to Ignite Potential:

  • Be a lifelong learner

  • Commit to an anti-bias mindset


Submit your basic information to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, or find your local chapter!


Learn more about the program and expectations of being a mentor.


After you complete the orientation, you will be sent the full application to become a Big.


We will schedule a time for an interview with one of our Enrollment Specialists.


Once your application and interview are approved, you will be matched with a Little to start mentoring!

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit is conducting trainings and match meetings virtually when possible to maintain adherence to CDC and State of Michigan guidelines to protect the health and safety of our volunteers, youth, families, and staff.


Be a Big

What kind of support does BBBS provide volunteers and families?

Staff members are there for you along the way throughout the entire process from orientation to after you are matched. We work with families and volunteers to best support them in ways to ensure the match is developing in a healthy and meaningful way as well as provide resources and/or training when necessary.

How often do I have to communicate with staff after I am matched?

Our professional staff communicate with all matches on a regular basis to complete match check ins called Match Support, which will occur through the duration of the match. These contacts are completed once per month, but we welcome matches to reach out at any time if they need additional support.

What kind of training is provided and how often?

During the initial volunteer orientation, we begin basic training to prepare you for your mentoring role. During the enrollment process, there may be some additional, required training to support and advance your mentoring capabilities. While matched, we offer short, monthly trainings to continually enhance your knowledge and maintain open lines of communication with the BBBSMD team.

Do the children want to be in the program?

Parents and caregivers that enroll their children in the program want the very best for them and recognize the benefits of an additional caring adult serving as a role model, which has shown to provide positive impacts not only on the child, but the family as well. During the enrollment process for families, BBBSMD staff ensure that the child wants and is willing to participate in the program.

How long does a match last?

Our hope is for matches to establish a healthy foundation in order to create a long lasting mentoring relationship that can last many years. Our minimum requirement is that matches stay together for one year.

Who are the Bigs in the program?

Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds and bring a variety of experiences, knowledge and insight to the BBBS community. Our Bigs are 21 years old and up from anywhere in the Metro Detroit area.

How much money do I spend on outings with my Little?

All outings and activities should be free or low cost. Spending a lot of money in a mentoring relationship can blur some boundaries as well as set specific expectations about a mentor’s role. We occasionally offer donated tickets to various engagements, free community event opportunities, and agency sponsored activities at no cost. To stay connected virtually, we supply matches with an activity packet full of ideas.

What if it doesn’t work out?

We work hard to make matches that we think will last. Sometimes, things come up that were not anticipated though we will attempt to mediate the situation in order to preserve the match. If the match still does not work out, our staff will work with participants to formally end the match.