Social Engagement: High
What’s What: If you want a hand in changing someone’s life and creating a better society, consider mentoring a child or teen for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). BBBS matches unrelated mentors with youth to promote positive development and social responsibility. The hours are flexible and you can choose the activities. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills; just a desire to positively impact a young person.
Amava Take: If you achieved anything in your life, chances are you had help. Having a mentor is powerful and can be life changing. As a BBBS mentor, you’ll work one-on-one with a child matched to your personality. You’ll form a supportive friendship with someone from a different background and get to share your wisdom. You’ll probably learn a lot too. There’s nothing like having a young person in your life to keep you hip-to-be-square!
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions?
Patient, kind and compassionate people who want to make a difference on an intimate level.
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
Be honest when you’re asking for a match. There may be young kids with troubled households or other special scenarios and if you’re not ready for that, just say so.
What’s a typical daily schedule like?
You’ll get together 2-4 times per month for at least a year, usually for 3-4 hours at a time. Activities are up to you and include studying, cooking and playing sports.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the job/experience?
I feel like I make a difference every time I’m with my mentee. I also learn something new and always laugh.
How would you describe the hard parts?
Helping with homework. Some of it is over my head.
What surprised you the most about the experience?
How much I enjoyed it and how close I got to my mentee. My 1-year commitment is still going strong three years later.
Special Requirements: Mentor participants undergo a rigorous screening process. Once accepted, there is an orientation and training.
Finding a Position: The national headquarters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America operates 250 affiliates across the U.S. To find the closest location for an opportunity near you, search the BBBS website. Here is a list of frequently asked questions. This fact sheet gives information about the successful outcomes of the program.