For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.
In 1904, a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement. By 1916, Big Brothers had spread to 96 cities across the country.
At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.
Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers of America and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
More than a century later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring mentors into the lives of children. Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states … and in 12 countries around the world!
By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers and others in the community we are accountable for each child in our program achieving:
Higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships | Avoidance of risky behaviors | Educational success
Our Mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Our Vision is that all children achieve success in life.
Our programs start something
Here's the proof. National research has shown that positive relationships between Littles and their Bigs have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives. By participating in our programs, Little Brothers and Sisters are:
More confident in their schoolwork performance
Able to get along better with their families
46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
27% less likely to begin using alcohol
52% less likely to skip school.