Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County provides one-to-one mentoring through two umbrellas of programming: (1) Community Mentoring, (2) Operation Bigs.
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 Community 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 – Connects 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.
OPERATION BIGS provides youth in military families with one-to-one mentoring throughout San Diego County. Additionally, Operation Bigs matches are invited to attend events through our community partners.