Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago
Community Based Mentoring is the traditional BBBS brand of mentoring where caring, screened and trained adult volunteers are paired in one-to-one mentoring relationships with young people ages 7-19 who are at higher risk or in more vulnerable situations due to the systemic barriers and/or adverse conditions present in their lives. This program is ongoing as the one-to-one mentoring relationships are intended to have long-term impact. We ask that all participants commit to the program for a minimum of one year, but many matches stay together longer. BBBS mentoring positively impacts negative effects of poverty and violence and is backed by independently proven, evidence-based youth outcomes -- avoidance of risky, delinquent behaviors; higher aspirations and improved confidence; and educational success. Matches participate in activities together 2-4 times a month for several hours each meeting; these activities have an intentional focus to increase social skills, develop self-esteem, and new interests, further engage students in school, enhance academic performance, and decrease absences from school, and plan for the future. Activities include but are not limited to homework help, reading, engaging in projects linked to key skill development including but not limited to financial literacy, presentation skills, college and career exposure, recreational activities, holiday projects, academic challenges, and community affairs projects.