Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America is a nonprofit, non-governmental, youth mentoring organization that helps children reach their full potential by mentoring them one-on-one, nurturing them and strengthening them in order to make them capable of building their own future. It is the largest, oldest, and most effective organization in the United States that mentors young people, from 6 to 18 years old. They are present in many communities across the country and many research studies have shown the program's effectiveness in impacting the youth through their one-on-one mentoring practices.
Big Brothers Big and Sisters has core programs like community-based and school-based mentoring as well as special programs for military children and children of different races. What usually happens is that a "Little" (children aged 6 to 18) are paired up with a "Big" children. The Big Brother or Big Sister mentors the Little by meeting a few hours every month and doing activities that they enjoy, which include, but are not limited to reading books, playing catch, going to a museum, eating together, and providing advice and inspiration.
Studies have shown that the Little who were mentored by Big were seen to be less likely to skip school, hit someone, or indulge in illegal drugs or alcohol. They were also seen to be more confident in their schoolwork and they also were seen to get along better with their families and communities. A number of strong friendships were also formed with Bigs and Littles programs, having a continued connection even in adulthood.
Big Brothers Big and Sisters of America currently operates in all 50 states in the U.S. as well as in 12 countries around the world. Big Brothers Big and Sisters International has presence in countries such as Canada, Australia, Poland, Israel, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Their headquarters is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA headed by its current CEO, Karen J. Mathis.
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