Become a Big
No child can control the situation into which he or she is born. Sometimes, circumstances do not allow a child’s abilities to flourish, but that does not mean that the child lacks hope or potential.
Hundreds of youth in our community have great potential – the potential to graduate high school and go to college, to get a job and provide for themselves and their families, to realize their dreams and be impactful members of our community. What they may be lacking is someone to defend their potential, the missing piece of their puzzle that you, as a Big Brother or a Big Sister, can fill.
As a Big, you can step up and defend that potential in either our Community-Based or School-Based program.
All Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio (BBBSECO) volunteers go through a screening process to help create safe, meaningful, and lasting relationships. The application and enrollment process usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete. Bigs are matched with Littles based on preferences and mutual interests. Once matched, trained Mentoring Specialists provide you with ongoing support for the duration of your mentoring relationship.
PROCESS TO Become a big
Complete the online application here. You can choose whether you’d like to apply to be a Community-Based Big or a School-Based Big. Once you submit your application, a Mentoring Specialist will call you to schedule an in-person interview.
Orientation & Interview
When you arrive, you will receive an orientation to provide you with an overview of the services offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as a training session on child safety and healthy Big-Little relationships. After the orientation, a Mentoring Specialist dedicated to supporting you throughout your volunteer experience will conduct an interview to get to know you better. This allows BBBSECO to make a match that takes into account your interests, background, and personality.
IN-DEPTH SCREENING & MATCH
When you come in for the interview, you will need to bring a copy of your driver’s license and a printed statement of your auto insurance liability coverage. BBBSECO will run your fingerprints and conduct a Level II national background check on you; child safety is our number one priority!
Once your background comes back clear and your Mentoring Specialist makes a final recommendation for acceptance, you become a Big ready to be matched. Your Mentoring Specialist will use information you provided to recommend a Little in the program you selected.
For Community-Based matches, once you, your Little, and your Little’s guardian have approved the match, a Mentoring Specialist will schedule a time for you to meet your Little and your Little’s parent or guardian – an opportunity to start getting to know each other in a supported environment. You will also schedule your first outing with your Little. School-Based Matches will have their match introduction between you and the Little during the first week you arrive at the school program.
Once you meet your Little, you will be free to move forward with the mentoring relationship. For community-based mentoring, this means making plans to meet with your Little in the community. For school-based mentoring you will go to your Little’s school on a weekly basis during the school year.
Your Mentoring Specialist will provide ongoing support to make sure the relationship continues in a positive manner. When talking to your Mentoring Specialist, feel free to share successes with your Little! It is also important to voice any concerns you may have to allow your Mentoring Specialist to make recommendations or take action to fix any issues; this allows for a lasting, fun, and impactful relationship between you and your Little.