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Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds, just like our Littles. Just about anyone can be a mentor. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills, simply a caring heart, a good head on your shoulders, and the willingness to be a reliable mentor for a Little or group of Littles. Current Bigs are teachers, business executives, police officers, healthcare workers, college students, and more.

In order to participate in community-based mentoring, you must be 18 years or older. However, if you are younger, you can still mentor in a school-based mentoring program. In relationships that have a high school student as a Big, not only does the Little thrive under the mentor’s positive influence, but the Big is also empowered by taking on the responsibility of serving as a mentor and a role model for someone else. This may be a great way for your high school children to get involved as well!

For Community-Based mentoring, the details are flexible, and it is the Big’s responsibility to coordinate mentoring sessions with the Little’s guardian.  The minimum meeting requirements for  Community-Based matches is to meet at least four hours each month, in the community.

For Community-Based mentoring, your Program Specialist will set up a time and place for you to meet your Little. It is critical for the relationship that you arrive on time for the initial meeting to ensure the relationship gets off on the right foot. Your Little’s parent or parents will be present, so you have a chance to meet them, as well – and so they have a chance to meet you.

During the initial match proposal over the phone, you will have received information about your Little’s life situation in order to help prepare you for your match.

For School-Based mentoring, you will meet your Little at an introduction session to get to know each other.

The quality of time with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend, which is why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on gifts or outings. The goal of the relationship is to help your Little see the world through a different lens, so he/she can understand the potential that he/she has and join you in defending it. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. You can:

    • Shoot hoops or have a catch at a local park
    • Play a board game or card game together
    • Fly a kite at the beach
    • Go for a hike in an open area
    • Share a pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway 
    • Go out for ice cream

BBBSECO also offers group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles, as well as occasionally has free (donated) tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.

Share an activity that gives you something to talk about. Get a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another.  For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!

Once you are matched with your Little, a Mentoring Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and to give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, your Mentoring Specialist will be able to help. Your Mentoring Specialist can help you come up with ideas for activities, provide guidance for handling difficult situations, and give feedback on how you are making a difference. Please also feel free to reach out to your Mentoring Specialist with stories of successes and other milestones that your Little reaches! For School-Based mentoring, BBBSECO staff will always be on site while you are volunteering, so feel free to reach out to them at any time.

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