It all started in 1904, when a young New York City juvenile court clerk named Ernest Coulter observed how any fatherless boys were coming through his courtroom. He recognized that these boys needed a positive adult role model to help them stay out of trouble. So, he recruited the first 50 volunteers, and that marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.
More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision to defend the potential of every child.
Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Our vision is to help all children achieve success in life.
Our Guiding Principles
- We will stay true to our mission – one-to-one youth mentoring, professionally supported, safe mentoring with proven, measurable outcomes.
- There is a significant need/demand for us to serve more kids. Our kids, schools and neighborhoods need us now more than ever.
- We are a performance-oriented organization striving to achieve results in terms of quality mentoring relationships, excellent efficiency and stewardship for our supporters, aggressive growth goals for the number of children served and cumulative impact for our schools and community.
- Communication: Communication is our top value, both internally and externally in order for us to create and sustain effective relationships and teamwork.
- Commitment: We are committed to being accountable for ourselves, including our attitudes and our program results.
- Learning: We challenge ourselves with continuous learning and improvement.
- Fairness: We believe that fairness is the bedrock of equal opportunity for all.
- Humor: We seek to insert humor into our celebrations and problem solving efforts whenever possible.
Youth today are growing up without the support and guidance they need to be successful. Without access to positive role models, they too often fall prey to the dysfunctional cycles of poverty, delinquency, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, failure and incarceration that characterize their neighborhoods and schools. Boys of color, particularly Hispanic and African American boys, face overwhelming obstacles that limit their potential. Mentoring is an evidence-based approach to addressing positive youth outcomes.
Youth in our mentoring programs experience a wide range of factors that limit their ability to achieve their full potential. These interrelated stressors have a cumulative effect of making youth more vulnerable to negative behaviors and delinquency. BBBS serves youth who are struggling academically, who lack self-esteem, who have been abused, who have family members in prison, who are living in single parent homes or with grandparents, and who are living in poverty. Having access to a caring, positive role model who inspires the potential of these youth has been proven effective.