Core Programs

BBBS-75-3212850029-OOur programs get things started

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County provides one-to-one mentoring through three umbrellas of programming: (1) Community-based Mentoring, (2) Site-based Mentoring, (3) Workplace-based Mentoring. Across programs, the foundational model remains the same: one child (“Little”) is intentionally “matched” with an adult volunteer (“Big”) in a long-term, professionally supported mentoring relationship. And no matter when a child enters a program, there’s no limit to where he or she can go.

Community-Based Programs

Community-Based Mentoring is the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters’ program, where Bigs and Littles get together on their own to share fun activities they both enjoy. The Community Program is flexible to accommodate a variety of schedules. Volunteers must meet with a child from 2-5 hours, 2-4 times a month for a minimum of one year.

An assortment of activity options and ideas are provided along with the training and support of a professional Big Brother Big Sisters Match Support Specialist to ensure a positive experience for both the child and volunteer. Getting together is a great time for both the Big and the Little. It doesn’t require a special occasion or expensive activities; just a few hours every month to share the simple things you already like to do.

Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles in the evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them.

Sports BigsBig FuturesAmachi
Sports BigsWhether you enjoy taking in the action or being in the action, Sports Bigs is a program that allows our volunteers (Bigs) an opportunity to spend time with a child (Little) enjoying sports-centered activities and sharing special moments together.

As a Sports Big, you hang out with your Little twice a month to play a sport and/or to attend a sporting event. Free/low cost tickets to professional and collegiate sporting events are provided as they become available for you and your Little. Bigs and Littles can also attend quarterly sports/health clinics sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) states – Aerobic activity should make up most of your child’s 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day. 22.6% do not engage in any free-time physical activity. Improving levels of physical activity among this population requires innovative solutions that motivate children. We believe Big Brothers Big Sisters Sports Bigs program can not only motivate, but also inspire children to live an active and healthy lifestyle, encouraged by a caring adult and supported by an organization offering fun, physical, ongoing activities. 

The Big Futures program functions as an extension of the Community-Mentoring program, and is completely voluntary to join beginning in the last two years of high school and continuing through the critical first two years of the post-secondary process. The program is designed to help the children in our program navigate the education and career system and remain on track toward meeting their career goals. Click to learn more about this innovative program.
AmachiThe Amachi program functions as a Community-Mentoring program, whereas the volunteer meets with one child in the community 2-4 times a month for 2-4 hours each time, but this program serves only a specific population of children – children of the incarcerated. Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks to serve with intentionality the children who need us most, and with that in mind, targeted the estimated 15,000 children in San Diego County who have a parent incarcerated. Click to learn more about this unique program.

Site-Based Programs

Bigs and Littles in the Site-Based Programs enjoy activities on site at the school or community center, such as playing on the playground, playing board games, making crafts, working on program specific curriculum, or just spending time talking together. Sessions include one-on-one activities that facilitate character building and relationship development, as well as having fun. A Big Brothers Big Sisters staff member is on location for all program sessions to facilitate and support the matches.

Operation Bigs and High School Bigs meet with their Littles on the same day each week for one hour, during the school year.

High School BigsOperation Bigs
HSB-mainHigh school students volunteer to serve as mentors to students in select elementary schools. The high school mentors provide elementary student Littles with one-on-one time and attention. The matches meet after school hours depending on the proximity of their school locations. High School Bigs experience the joy and life changing power of service, build college resumes, and may receive school credit. Littles have the opportunity to connect with a role model close to their own age whom they identify with strongly.Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County is currently partnered with 5 high schools within the county. However, students who attend any of the San Diego County high schools can apply to be a Big Brother or Big Sister in the program. Your high school need not be an official partner in order for you to participate. Learn more about High School Bigs.
Operation Bigs is a one-to-one mentoring program for military children, the first of its kind in the nation. Mentoring provides an extra layer of support to local military families. ​The military lifestyle often presents many challenges for children and families such as frequent relocation, school transitions, separation from extended family, increased responsibility coupled with a sense of loss when a parent deploys and the physical and psychological stress faced when a parent returns from war.
Learn more about Operation Bigs>

Workplace-Based Programs

Bigs and Littles in the Workplace-Based Programs enjoy activities on site at the corporate office. Beyond School Walls meets with their Littles at the Corporate host site twice a month for 1.5 hours, during the school year.

Beyond School Walls Program
BSW2Beyond School Walls allows companies such as Millennium Health, Bumble Bee Tuna and The Ken Blanchard Companies to give back to the community by hosting children from a nearby school at their corporate office. The children are transported to the workplace to meet with the employee volunteer mentor twice per month during the school day for an hour an half.

The purpose of the program is to expose youth to the world of work, provide them with an adult role model, and help them create a vision for a positive future. Each program day the Big and Little will discuss topics that aid children with building life and leadership skills, while having fun and building a friendship. There are two subsets of the Beyond School Walls program: STEM and Sister2Sister. Learn More about Beyond School Walls unique programming >

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