Could your little one use a Big?
It all starts with the right role models. And Big Brothers Big Sisters is the place to start a relationship with one. For over 100 years, due in large part to private donations, we’ve been able to recruit, screen, match and support mentoring relationships that have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across the country — one Little at a time.
You’ll feel the impact as much as your child.
A study for Big Brothers Big Sisters found that kids matched with a Big Brother or Sister*:
*Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. (1995) Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures
Beyond the numbers:
Read what parents said about their children being matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister.
Want to see more of what Littles and Bigs say? Check out The Whiteboard Project!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM PARENTS AND GUARDIANS.
How do I enroll my child?
We only have two eligibility requirements: You must live within the City of Ithaca and your child must be between the ages of 6 -14.
Please contact us at The Ithaca Youth Bureau to enroll your child.
The enrollment process is quick and easy. Just give us a call or stop in for a visit. We'll take down some basic information, and then schedule an interview for you and your child.
Our enrollment staff member will visit you at your home, and conduct a thorough and important interview with you and your child so we can make a great match.
Who are the Big Brothers & Sisters?
Big Brothers and Sisters are volunteers from the community who have decided that they would like to play a positive role in the life of a local child. They come from all walks of life and range in age from 18. All volunteers have committed to spend about 2 hours a week for at least 1 full year with your child.
How do you make sure that the volunteer is safe and appropriate?
1) A thorough interview by our enrollment staff, including questions about background, upbringing, philosophy's about children and discipline, level of commitment, etc.
2) A thorough background check conducted at all of the following levels: City of Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York State, and National (College police are also contacted in the case of college volunteers.)
3) Each volunteer provides 3 references that must provide positive feedback.
4) Each volunteer attends an initial orientation to ensure that all program rules and policies are understood and will be followed.
How long will my child have to wait?
Because there are many children waiting to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister, your child will have to be added to our wait-list before getting matched. The amount of time that each child waits depends on a variety of factors such as location, gender, any special needs, etc. Currently, kids (especially boys) may have to wait up to a year.
While your child is waiting to be matched, we will check in with you for any updates. They are also welcome to attend our Northside Saturday Program.