Core Programs

Our programs ignite a child’s potential.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County provides one-to-one mentoring through three umbrellas of programming: (1) Traditional Mentoring, (2) Site-Based Facilitated Mentoring, (3) Blended Mentoring (a combination of Traditional and Site-Based Facilitated).

Across all 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 at what age a child enters a program, there’s no limit to where he or she can go.

    1:1 mentoring for children in need of a role model. Bigs and Littles meet throughout the community 2-4 times/month for 2-5 hours and participate in activities of mutual interest. Volunteers make at least a one-year commitment and receive specialized training to best support youth. Ongoing case management support is provided by BBBS staff to encourage strong, impactful, long-lasting relationships.

In addition, the following specialized initiatives fall under Traditional Mentoring:

Ayana – (meaning “helper” in Aramaic) Helps Chaldean refugee children navigate the challenges of assimilation and integration into U.S. culture by providing adult Chaldean mentors who understand their challenges. This initiative is in partnership with a Chaldean Affinity Group, who provides fundraising and recruitment support.

Bigs with Badges – Connecting youth with mentors in law enforcement careers, as a bridge between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Hand in Hand – Provides deaf/hard of hearing Big Brother and Big Sister mentors to deaf/hard of hearing children to help them improve communication barriers and navigate the hearing world with more confidence. Created in partnership with Deaf Community Services, which provides translators for all face-to-face interviews, as well as recruitment of volunteers and children.

Hermandad – (meaning “brotherhood/sisterhood” in Spanish) Connects Latino youth with a Latino mentor to enrich their lives culturally, socially and academically.

    1:1 mentoring where meetings between the matches take place in one particular location, which may be a partnering company, a school or other location dependent upon the specialized program.

The Beyond School Walls (BSW) program provides middle and high school students with 1:1 mentoring at partnering companies with guided curriculum designed to teach skills necessary for workplace and personal success.BBBS San Diego also provides BSW–STEM in partnership with STEM companies and professionals, and BSW Sister2Sister in partnership with female professionals at local companies, 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.  View impact video >

    1:1 mentoring which combines the Traditional and Site-Based Facilitated models.

The Operation Bigs program provides youth with a parent who is active duty military or a Veteran with 1:1 mentoring at eight school based sites in San Diego and Camp Pendleton. Additionally, through the Traditional mentoring program, BBBS serves military dependents throughout San Diego County.