Boca Cares Fund awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast $2,800 to fund holiday meals for 28 families in the Englewood area. Big Brothers Big Sisters identified 28 families who we overjoyed to receive a healthy and delicious meal over the holiday. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves over 200 children and families in Englewood. Their Mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Their vision is that all youth achieve their full potential.
Evalyn Sadlier Jones Foundation awarded $10,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast for the expansion of its Juvenile Justice Mentoring Initiative and Big Futures Programs in Sarasota County. The Juvenile Justice Mentoring Initiative program provides prevention and early intervention specialized mentoring services to youth who are at high risk of entering the juvenile justice system and those who have already made contact with the system. 97% of youth in the program avoided truancy. Big Futures, a professionally supported mentoring bridge provides continued guidance to the 10TH – 12TH grade youth the agency currently serves until they reach age 21, thereby, placing them on a career pathway to sustainable independence. 91% of the youth who remain matched with their mentor through Big Futures after high school graduation are either enrolled in a higher education institution or gainfully employed.
Harold & Jacqueline Bladel Charitable Trust has approved a grant in the amount of $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast for its one-to-one mentoring programs in Sarasota County. Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children realize their potential and build their futures. They nurture children and strengthen communities. For over 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 21, in communities across the Sun Coast. They develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Community-based mentoring relationships involve one-on-one outings and activities, doing things the Big and Little enjoy together. Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles on weekday evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them. It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best place to help a child realize their potential is at school. Children enjoy having their Bigs meet with them there, whether it’s in the classroom or on the playground. School-Based Mentoring takes place at school during one class period a week. Mentors inspire their Littles to reach their potential as they work on assignments, promote self-confidence and develop a friendship. At the end of the day, it’s really all about developing a friendship, providing guidance and inspiring them to reach their potential.
Bernard and Mildred Doyle Charitable Trust has awarded $10,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast for its Decision to Win (DTW) program in Sarasota County. The goal of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast’s Decisions to Win (DTW) one-to-one mentoring initiative is to help at-risk high school students remain in school, earn promotion to the next grade level and graduate high school. DTW serves students in grades 10-12. This personal decision-making program is workbook-based, and it is designed to instill goal orientation, develop planning skills, and motivate students to succeed in school. Thus, DTW is Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast’s signature high school dropout prevention initiative that joins the Agency’s one-to-one mentoring model with a structured course of study. The program consists of 18-20 age-appropriate lessons focused on academic achievement, positive behavior, increasing self-esteem, and setting long-term educational, career, and financial goals. Students work one-to-one with their mentors, who are provided specialized training, to complete each lesson during weekly sessions. Mentoring sessions typically take place at the student’s school during one class or lunch period throughout the school year. These sessions include assistance with schoolwork, standardized test preparation, personal conversations, and shared activities.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has received an additional $8,000 from the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners for its one-to-one mentoring programs in Charlotte County. The primary goal of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast is to contribute to positive youth development through one-to-one mentoring relationships and programs. The youth and his/her mentor participate in the One to One Mentoring Program as either a community-based match or a school-based match. Community-based mentoring relationships involve one-to-one outings and activities, doing things the Big and Little enjoy together, such as at a park, sporting event, or library. Some Bigs meet with their Littles on the weekends, while others get together on weekday evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them. Although it takes place at a specified supervised location, typically schools or afterschool programs, our school-based program isn’t limited to the classroom. Of course, some Littles do talk with their Big about the class or do homework or read together, but it’s perfectly fine to shoot hoops in the gym or play on the playground. At the end of the day, it’s really all about starting a friendship, providing guidance, and inspiring them to reach their potential.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters or to become a Big, please call 855.501.BIGS (2447)
Top Photo Caption Credit: The importance of providing a dedicated mentor to a child facing adversity has never been more apparent. Big Sister Amanda sees firsthand the importance of spending time with her Little Sister Jazlyn.