One on One Mentoring
Youth in need of a special friend are matched with a volunteer that is screened and trained by our mentoring team. Big Buddies and Little Buddies get together a minimum of 6 hours a month to grow their relationship by learning and having fun together. Mentors and Mentees visit museums and other historical sites, explore the zoo, go skating, fishing, bowling, create arts and crafts, or just hang out!
Each One Reach One
This initiative matches youth who have an incarcerated parent with a one-on-one mentor. Research tells us that youth of incarcerated parents
- Exhibit symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Have feelings of shame, hopelessness and guilt because of their parent’s incarcerations
- Have negative perceptions of police and authority figures
- Need support designed just for their special circumstances (National Resource Center on Families of the Incarcerated, 2006)
Statistics also show that the mentoring relationship is a tool for helping that child develop the resiliency and competency skills they need to cope and surpass their circumstances, NRCCCFI 2006.
Social Emotional Learning
Under the direction of the Mentoring Service Unit, through our Real Talk: Mentor Group Curriculum, all youth participating in Big Buddy lessons in social emotional learning skills such as identifying their feelings, being responsible, managing their emotions, showing empathy, respecting others, setting goals and plans, as well as an appreciation for diversity. We know that it youth are confident decision makers, caring problem solvers, and competent relationship builders, they will be more successful in life.
We recruit Little Buddies/Mentees from all Big Buddy Partnership Schools. We also accept referrals for Mentors from parents/guardians, guidance counselors, social service agencies, and other community stakeholders.
Big Buddy Mentor Commitment:
Volunteers that sign up for this awesome task will make a commitment to provide consistent interaction with their Little Buddies, so that a strong relationship will form and last. The interaction will be under the direct supervision of a trained Mentor Coordinator from the Big Buddy Program.
Big Buddies are asked to commit to:
- Attend 1 Weekend Activity per month. A schedule of weekend activities will be provided at the match ceremony. Generally, two activities are designated to each month. First, Mentors are invited to attend. Once the Mentor’s participation is confirmed, the Little Buddy is invited out and transportation is arranged.
- Write a letter or card and make phone calls each month. This correspondence should be encouraging words for the week, a recap of the weekend activity, career information, etc. The Big Buddy Program will serve as the delivery system for all mail.
- Write 1 Letter per month. The contents of the letter should be encouraging words for the week, a recap of the weekend activity, career information, etc. The Big Buddy Program will serve as the delivery system.
- Attend the Match Ceremony, Ending or Recommitment Ceremony, and additional training workshops if applicable.