The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, identified that that the single most critical factor in whether or not a child grows up successfully is whether or not they have a strong, positive, consistent, caring adult role model in their lives.
Youth mentoring relationships can transform the trajectory of young peoples’ lives by leading them away from violent and risky behavior and toward sustainable and productive opportunities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists mentoring as one of four strategies that holds the most promise for youth violence prevention. Primarily, this is because mentoring has a proven ability to decrease risk factors and enhance protective factors associated with reducing youth violence, such as staying engaged in school or displaying positive social behaviors.
One in three young people do not have access to a mentor and will reach adulthood without ever connecting with a mentor of any kind. This lack of access is a root cause problem for why kids get into trouble. Kids simply must have the guidance of supportive, caring adults to be able to grow up successfully –overcoming the many obstacles in childhood. (Source: MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, The Mentoring Effect.)
With the help of thousands of volunteers across south Texas who step up every day to mentor, we achieve amazing outcomes for the youth we serve. Research, such as in the examples below, has proven the effectiveness of BBBS programs in achieving positive youth outcomes for at-risk youth through the development of critical assets.
- 98% of youth in the Amachi program for children of incarcerated parents are consistently promoted to the next grade over the last decade (Texas Education Agency, 2018).
- Fewer than 5% of BBBS youth matched in a 3 year “Second Chance” delinquency prevention program administered by the US Department of Labor were re-referred to the juvenile justice system (2016).
- 98% of youth graduated with 81% enrolling in college in a 7 year workplace mentoring program in partnership with the US Department of Education and the San Antonio Independent School District. 63% of youth chose a STEM major. (2016)
- Outcomes for parents include decreases in stress, efficacy in managing stress, increases in social connections, decreases in social isolation, increases in support and resources for their family, and increases in knowledge of child development. In 2010, parent surveys in a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services funded program found that 77% of parents felt their participation in the BBS program helped improve their parenting skills, 84% reported reduced stress and 85% reported the program helped them reach the goals they set for themselves and their family.
- A 2009 study conducted by Harris Interactives found that over 50% of former Littles reported that their Big Brother or Big Sister kept them from dropping out of school. Over three quarters (77%) reported doing better in school because of their Big and two-thirds (65%) agree that their Big helped them reach a higher level of education than they thought possible.
- In 2007 Public/Private ventures found that children who were matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister in the school based program showed improvement in 8 academic areas, including, overall academic performance, science, written and oral language, quality of class work and serious school infractions.
- A 20 year study still being conducted in 2016 by the University of Texas found that 87% of youth in the community based program graduated from High School or got a GED (2005).
- Public/Private Ventures’ 1995 evaluation of BBBS’ Community-Based mentoring program found that those matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister were 46% less likely to start using drugs; 27% less likely to start drinking; 52% less likely to skip a day of school; and 33% less likely to hit someone.