Our impact on education

With the help of our donors, volunteers and partners, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes a Big impact on children’s education. The effect has been confirmed by study after study and can be tracked and monitored using our best-in-class measurement tools.

Our landmark study

Our impact on education is evident in research conducted by Public/Private Ventures and published in 1995. When comparing children matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister to those waiting to be served by Big Brothers Big Sisters, these researchers found that:

  • Littles skipped half as many days of school as did their peers.
  • Littles felt more competent about doing schoolwork.
  • Littles skipped fewer classes than did their peers.

Children who are in school, in class, and engaged in their work are more likely to succeed.

What our current Littles say

Our impact on education is confirmed by those closest to it: our Littles. In a 2009, we commissioned industry leader Civic Enterprises to conduct a nationwide survey of our Bigs and Littles. Of those children surveyed,

  • 97% of Littles said working hard in school is very important.
  • 95% of Littles said going to school and getting a good education is very important.
  • 94% of Littles said graduating from college is very important.

Children who work hard, recognize the value of education, and set a goal of going to college are more likely to succeed.

What our alumni say

Our impact on education is felt long after Littles graduate from high school. In 2009, Harris Interactive conducted an online survey of alumni Littles from across the nation. Among those former Littles:

  • 77% said they are doing better in school because of their Big.
  • 65% agreed their Big helped them reach a higher level of education that they thought possible.
  • 52% agreed their Big kept them from dropping out of high school.

Children who graduate from high school, perform well in school, and achieve beyond their expectations are successful in school and in life.

Research About Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs

Overview of Evidence-Based Mentoring

We don't just trust that our programs have a big impact -- we learn about their impact from independent research and continuing partnerships.

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The Study


Research shows that our one-to-one mentoring programs have real outcomes for children. 

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Impact on Self-Confidence

One-on-one attention from a caring adult role model is a key part of developing self-confidence, and research shows that Bigs help Littles feel more confident in several areas.

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Impact on Juvenile Justice 

Many children get swept up into what their peers are doing, but research shows that having another caring adult on their side helps Littles make good decisions and avoid risky behaviors.

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Other Ways to Get Involved

Whether you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor, potential Big Brother or Big Sister, partner, advocate, or family member, you have the power to change a child's future for the better.