Project Category: Kids/Teens
Number of Participants: Mentors are usually assigned with one "Little" (Child)
Duration of Project: 6-8 hours/month for one year to be a "Big" (Mentor)
Service Opportunities: Youth Mentor Programs. Donation of time, funds, and clothing
Location: 1540 Pontiac Ave., Cranston, RI 02920 MAP LINK
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, part of Big Brother Big Sister of America, is a mentoring organization that serves children ages 7 to 15 from across Rhode Island who are at highest risk for substance abuse, school failure, early parenting, and violence; those living in high-risk environments such as dangerous neighborhoods or isolated rural settings, or who come from families facing challenges such as major mental illness, life-threatening or chronic disease, poverty, addiction, and domestic violence.
Impact: January, 2017 marked the 15th annual National Mentoring Month as well as Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State’s (BBBSOS) 50th Anniversary. Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible decisions, stay focused and engaged in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like skipping school, drug use and other negative activities. Mentoring has also been identified as the single most effective means of positively influencing the future of a child. For example, in a recent national report called The Mentoring Effect, young people who were at-risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. They were also more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities, more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities, and more than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State’s mission is to provide mentors to the youth of Rhode Island who motivate and empower them to make positive decisions, improve academic results, avoid risky behaviors and grow in a way that will positively impact our community. The wait list for children who need a mentor continues to grow and volunteers are needed.
Volunteer Responsibilities: Background check required when working with children. Volunteers must fill out information form online. Must have valid driver's license and liability insurance is choosing to drive with "little"