Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County
Since 1961, BBBS of SDC has worked to make a difference in the lives of children by providing them with guidance and support through long-term, one-to-one friendship matches with caring adult volunteers who promote their self-esteem and expand their awareness of life's opportunities.
HISTORY OF BBBS OF SDC
BBBS of SDC has served almost 20,000 children since 1961. Nationally, the program has existed since 1904, and national headquarters are in Philadelphia, PA.
The main focus of BBBS of SDC is to provide "Bigs" who are adult friends and mentors for "Littles" who are children ages 7-18 who need and want an adult role model in their lives.
Children are referred to the program by their parent or guardian who may have learned about the program from friends or family who have participated, from BBBS of SDC marketing or had a recommendation from the school guidance department or counseling center. There are no fees for services.
Children in the program receive one-to-one attention from their Big Brother or Big Sister and, within one year, for 90 percent of participants, this translates into greater self-esteem, improved social skills and better school performance.
The relationship is designed to be casual and recreational for both the "Bigs" and the "Littles." It is flexible in that the volunteer and child choose the times to meet and the activities they do. A match is made based on mutual interests, personalities, location within San Diego and individual preferences.
Big Brother/Big Sister volunteers are 18 years of age or older (unless in our HS BIS program) and are at a stable place in their lives where they can take time to meet with a child for a fun outing in the community or in a school setting. Volunteers can be involved in either the Community Mentoring Program or the Bigs in Schools Program. Children can participate in the program until they turn 18 years old. For many, the connection becomes a life-long friendship.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego serves the entire county, with central offices in Miramar, at 8515 Arjons Drive, Suite A.
Community Mentoring Bigs (volunteers) provide Littles with one-to-one time and attention in their communities. Through simple friendship, Bigs experience the joy of helping children discover a new world of possibilities and opportunities.
Bigs in Schools Volunteers provide Littles with one-on-one time and attention in their schools. As their friendships evolve, volunteers and children discover ways to make school and learning fun.
Amachi Bigs (mentors) from faith-based organizations are matched with Littles that are children of incarcerated parent(s). The matches meet once a week for at least one hour.
High School Bigs High School age volunteers provide Littles with one-to-one time and attention in the Littles elementary and middle schools. High School Bigs experience the joy and life changing power of service, build college resumes, and may receive school credits. Littles have the opportunity to connect with a role model close to their own age whom they identify with strongly.
Operation Bigs Active Marines and volunteers familiar with military life provide friendship and guidance to a Little, many of whom have military parents that are deployed. This Bigs in Schools program is critical for children facing the fears and anxiety that deployment brings.
Hispanic Mentoring Initiative Utilizing all of the BBBS programs this initiative continues the Big Brothers Big Sisters tradition of outreach to underserved youth by emphasizing the connection with Hispanic communities and the recruitment of Latino Bigs in one-to-one relationships with Latino Littles.