This is our traditional match, where adult mentors are paired with youth ages 6-16 with the commitment to see each other at least 4 hours per month. Each match is hand-selected by our team based on shared interests, geography and personality. Matches plan their own outings filled with things they like to do, like sports, going to the beach or making music.
BLACK MALE EXCELLENCE
In partnership with the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and Seattle CARES, our Black Male Excellence program seeks to address the persistent opportunity gaps that affect boys and young men of color. Through this program, men of color serve as mentors, provide support networks, and help youth learn the skills they need to begin a career or go to college. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides training and support for mentors and offers services that are relevant for boys of color to succeed.
Big Brothers Big Sisters proudly welcomes members of LGBTQ communities to become volunteer mentors, sharing their time and experiences with children and youth in our community. Caring adult mentors are available for all LGBTQ families and LGBTQ youth who need or want one.
Meaning “together” in Spanish, Juntos is a new program in partnership with ReWA. We pair unaccompanied refugee minors who have immigrated to the United States with Spanish-speaking mentors. Students and their mentors have access to fun events and culturally relevant activities. Mentors add to the students’ support system while they are finishing high school and acclimating to living in Seattle.
Minimum age of 18 years-old
Employed at current job for at least one month, or have another stable form of income and/or be a full-time student
Must commit to at least one year in our program
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the Bigs in the program?
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!
When can I see my Little?
As a Big/Little team, you decide together what you want to do and then your Little gets parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your local agency will provide more guidance on this. Until your relationship is established the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little and you.
How much money should I spend?
The quality of time invested with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help them see the world through a different lens so you can inspire them to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Shoot hoops at a local park, play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. In addition, the agency hosts free events throughout the year and include everything from kayaking and kickboxing to beach days. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For youth, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
Can I bring my spouse, a friend or family member on outings?
In the beginning it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little and the impact you have on their life.
What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little, a Program Coordinator from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Program Coordinator there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
Will I become a replacement parent?
No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!