Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County launched its inaugural Beyond Schools Walls site in October 2013 at Bumble Bee Seafood’s corporate office, three sites soon followed in the Fall of 2014. In 2015, in partnership with Millennium Health, a San Diego-based health solutions company, the program expanded to serve 100 additional youth. This Big Brothers Big Sisters nationwide mentoring program allows companies to give back to their community by hosting children from area schools in a real-life work and higher education environments for an average of 15 sessions a year.
Big Brothers Big Sisters facilitates partnerships among companies and local middle schools by facilitating the recruitment, interviewing/screening (of all participants), session oversight and relationship development. Volunteer “Bigs” meet twice a month for 1.5 hours with their mentees (“Littles”) to build personal relationships while discussing topics that aid children in personal and leadership development. The Bigs help their Littles create a vision for a positive future.
Additionally, there are two subsets of the Beyond School Walls program:
Science –Technology – Engineering – Math: Hosted at STEM-based corporations, employees will provide one-to-one mentoring plus exposure to an experiential STEM activity at each session. This program will provide underserved youth a unique access to STEM professionals in a non-judgmental, non-academic setting where they will be exposed to high quality STEM experiences.
Sister 2 Sister: Pairs caring adult women employees who can provide young girls alternative perspectives on their value and unique gifts to counter the active recruitment of 11 – 13 year old girls being lured into human trafficking through gang prostitution. The pairs will participate in a body image and self-identity project, designed in conjunction with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office, aimed at deterring young women from involvement in juvenile prostitution and delinquency.
• 96% agree that the program has positively impacted them
• 83% are more likely to work for a firm that has a reputation for volunteering in the community
• 85% plan to continue their mentorship beyond the first year
• 93% would recommend the program to colleagues
Impact On Children:*
Children mentored by Beyond School Walls Bigs:
• Improved their focus at school
• Improved their grades
• Believed that their Bigs were important to them
• Experienced a positive change in attitudes or perceptions
• Enjoyed the program
*Source: BBBS of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Participating Beyond School Walls Partners
Millennium Health & Del Dios Middle School
Qualcomm, Cisco & Wangenheim Middle School
“Now I want to be a president of a company!”– Beyond School Walls Little
If your business is interested in hosting a Beyond School Walls program at your office, please contact Bonnie Campbell at BonnieC@SDBigs.org.