Looking for Littles

A black and white photo of a child's face cropped to the eyes and nose with white and green text overlaid reading, "Empower Your Child's Potential! Enroll your child in a mentoring program today."

Do you know a child who would benefit from having an additional caring adult in their life?

The truth is- that was a trick question. We know that every child would benefit from having a mentor who cares about them and is there to defend their potential. We are working hard to find Littles who would like to participate in our programming, and we need your help!

WHO CAN BE A LITTLE?

Oftentimes when people think about our programming they envision a particular type of child. But we know that every youth could benefit from having a mentor. Our volunteers are normal people who are eager to defend the potential of a child in our community. We are looking for Littles who are:

  • Between the ages of 6-16
  • Willing to participate in the program
  • Have parents/guardians who are willing to engage in regular conversation with a BBBS staff person, as well as the Big their child is matched with

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Youth and their parent/guardian are interviewed by a member of the Enrollment Team. The interview helps us to get to know the parent/guardian and the child, in order to make the best match.

Intentional matching is a pillar of the work we do. By getting to know our Littles, their parents, and prospective Bigs, we can make sure youth are matched with the best possible mentor for them. Our team compares and assesses the interests and personalities of both the Littles and Bigs. We craft each match to ensure the pair has something in common and a base from which to form a friendship.

Once a potential Big has been identified for the Little, a staff member reaches out to the parent/guardian to discuss the prospective Big and why we recommend them for their child’s match. A parent/guardian always has a say in who their child’s Big will be. Parents/guardians are a valued stakeholder in the process. They are the best ones to help make a decision about whether the Big will be a good fit.

CHILD SAFETY

Our Bigs are community members who are passionate about defending potential. Before we begin the matching process, we start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.

Our National Standards of Excellence, outlined further on our website’s Child Safety page, require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process including an interview, background and reference checks.

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. 

YOUTH OUTCOMES

Our programming has big impacts on the youth who participate. Littles participate in an annual survey that measures the outcomes each youth experiences in our program. After just one year of being matched in our programming, over 90% of youth have reported:

  • Increased graduation rates
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Better school performance

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! Many Littles also have improved school attendance, an increased desire to participate in post-secondary education. Some are even less likely to partake in risky behaviors like smoking and drinking alcohol.

WHAT NEXT?

For more information, complete an inquiry form, email our team at CustomerRelations@bbbsmi.org, call 269-532-8932 or visit our website at ThinkBigToday.org.

A member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters team will answer your questions, provide program information, and help you decide if a Big is the right fit for your child.

Hear from three Littles talking about what their Big means to them in this 4 minute video.

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