Be A Big

Being a Big Requires Openness, Humility, and a Commitment
to Help Young People Become Their Best Selves

Being a Big is about helping to IGNITE the great power and promise of youth.  The children and teens we serve have extraordinary innate potential and it OUR job to be on their team, to help them see their worth, help them explore and discover their strengths and interests, and help them cultivate BIG dreams.

Sometimes being a GREAT "Big" means being a great listener and creating space for your "Little" to shine.  Sometimes it is just about fun.  And sometimes, it means discussing hard topics. 

Our Bigs exemplify the following qualities:

  • Humble, self-aware, empathetic and willing to learn from their Little
  • Listen and hold space
  • Aren’t interested in SAVING anyone, but rather want to help a young person discover their greatness
  • Committed to increasing equity and access for the youth we serve
  • Committed to seeing ASSETS/STRENGTHS in another person
  • Value lived experience of others
  • Willing to be themselves AND encourage a young person to do so too
  • Willing to help a young person determine what THEIR version of success may be
  • Have made some mistakes, can own them, and learned from them too
  • Had a mentor, needed a mentor, or understand privilege and want to help others succeed
  • Accountable and consistent
  • Care about THEIR community and future generations
  • Will be in our market for 14 months or more and can commit to meeting with their Littles 2-4 times each month

The Commitment:

Community-Based Mentors

  • Be in market for no less than 14 months (approx. 45 days for enrollment and 12 months as a mentor) and commit to mentoring your "Little" for no less than 12 months
  • Meet with your Little 2-4 times each month after school or on weekends
  • Coordinate with your Little's parent/guardian
  • Embracing a strengths-based approach, work with your Little to achieve gains in the areas identified in his/her plan
  • Commit to having a conversation with BBBSL staff once per month

BIG Beyond Mentors

  • Engage in e-mentoring every other Wednesday from 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM via Zoom 
  • Serve as your Scholar's mentor from the beginning of his/her sophomore year through high school graduation
  • Attend quarterly in-person agency-hosted Saturday gatherings with your Scholar and his/her family

Getting Started (45-60 days):

  • Select whether you are interested in being a BIG Beyond Scholar Program or a Community-Based Program mentor
  • Complete an intial inquiry form or send an email...see below for both
  • Schedule a quick orientation call or Zoom to learn ALL the ins and outs and can decide if we are the right volunteer experience for you
  • Complete a full application inclusive of a background check, references, etc.
  • Complete self-paced online pre-match training
  • Complete a scheduled 90-minute virtual interview so we get to know you well and can find you the BEST Littles/Scholar
  • Receive information about a proposed Little/Scholar and accept or decline
  • Attend your first virtual "Match Meeting" with your Little, your Little's guardian, and BBBSL staff
  • Complete a 90-minute Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion virtual training within first 60 days of being matched

If you can see yourself in the list above, AND you’d like to join a child’s team: