Programs

MENTORING MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE IN A CHILD’S LIFE

Many kids who face adversity lack connection to school and community. We know helping children engage requires a team of caring adults. Our relationship model includes the most significant adults in a child's life: parent or caretaker, teacher or guidance counselor, Big Brother or Big Sister and our professional program staff. Surrounded by this support, children develop into successful adults who contribute to the future of our community. We didn't become the nationally-recognized youth intervention overnight! More than 110 years of experience informs our evidence-based programs from the day we make a new mentoring match through the day we celebrate a young adult's success.

 

Young adults who are at-risk for falling off track but had a mentor are 55% more likely to enroll in college, 81% more likely to participate in extracurricular activities and 131% more likely to hold a leadership position in a club, sports team, school council or another group.

“The Mentoring Effect,” 2014

 

Community-based

Through our one-to-one community-based mentoring program, Bigs and Littles are matched and provided professional coaching, support and training throughout the mentoring relationship. As part of our community-based program, we serve children of incarcerated parents, children of Spanish-speaking families, and youth who are pregnant or parenting. Community-based matches meet twice a month for 2-3 hours to spend time doing everyday activities that promote a trusting relationship that helps a young person build self-confidence, think about the future, and of course, have fun!

100%

of the youth in our programs reported improving or maintaining in at least 1 of the 8 major categories we measure, and over 99% reported improving or maintaining in at least 2.

“There are many challenges to parenting, especially as a single parent. Seeing my son with his Big Brother and watching their relationship has been heartwarming. He needed a positive adult role model, and his Big Brother has been that model." -- Parent of a Little Brother

1 in 3 young people report they never had an adult mentor of any kind (neither naturally occurring, like a parent, nor structured) while they were growing up.

School-based

School-based mentoring is one-to-one mentoring in a school setting. PROJECT MENTOR, our largest program, is our collaboration with Columbus City Schools. Volunteers meet with students at school for about an hour each week, usually at lunch time. Our professional staff facilitates weekly activities to help strengthen the mentoring relationship and help build character strengths, social emotional competence and academic success. We provide ongoing coaching, support and training. We align with our district partners, and we work with families to address barriers to success that students may be experiencing.

74%

of the students in our PROJECT MENTOR program improved or consistently maintained educational expectations.

"It is good to have someone older than you to give you positive input on being successful. I've gained a lot of tips about life...about what to do when I grow up and how to handle life." -- PROJECT MENTOR Student

School-based mentors for PROJECT MENTOR come from our many Volunteer Partners, including businesses, government organizations, community groups and faith-based organizations as well as the community at large.

Amachi Ohio

Ten percent of Ohio's children have had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives. Through no fault of their own, their lives are made more challenging. We reach out to central Ohio children of incarcerated parents and match them with a caring adult who provides support with academics, goal-setting and staying on track for success. Our agency also leads the statewide collaborative of Ohio Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies that serve children of incarcerated parents. For more information, please visit www.amachiohio.org.

"My son was once worried that he would go to prison like his father. Since being matched with his Big Brother who is a college student, he knows what path he wants in life." -- Mother of a Little Brother

Hispanic Mentoring

It is projected that by 2035, one in three children in our country will be Latino. In Franklin County, an opportunity analysis reveals that 51% of Latino children live in distressed neighborhoods. We reach out to Spanish-speaking youth and families through our Hispanic Mentoring Program. We serve Latino kids through our community-based and school-based mentoring programs, and at our Camp Oty'Okwa. Our outreach efforts to the Latino community are extensive, and we always have a need for additional bilingual volunteers. INFORMACION EN ESPANOL

"It has given my son the opportunity to have someone to talk to and help him make better choices." -- Parent of Latino Little Brother

Camp Oty’Okwa

Our 737-acre Camp Oty'Okwa in the Hocking Hills provides a safe, positive and nurturing environment for campers. Certified by the American Camp Association, Camp Oty'Okwa provides camping and environmental education experiences in an atmosphere that builds self-esteem, self-confidence and the skills that children facing adversity need to succeed. In addition to summer camp, we host school groups interested in meeting their academic content standards in an experiential way. For more information, please visit www.campotyokwa.org.

80%

of our campers showed improvement in each of the five categories we measured on our Camp Youth Outcomes Survey last year.

Mentoring Center

The Mentoring Center of Central Ohio, which is a department of Big Brothers Big Sisters, has a positive impact on the quality of mentoring provided not only by our agency, but also by its 30 partner organizations. The Mentoring Center also maintains an affiliation with MENTOR, a network of 28 mentoring partnerships throughout the United States that raise awareness and drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs. For more information, please visit www.mentoringcenterco.org.

"This training really helped prepare me for what to expect when mentoring and how to deal with any situations that may arise." "I am ready to make a difference in a child's life." -- Mentors who completed a Mentoring Center training class