We’re always looking for people eager to positively impact a child and improve their community at the same time. And right now is the perfect time to start something Big.
For a few hours each month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their lives. And sometimes it’s as simple as playing video games, going to a museum, or just hanging out together.
Recently, a Big in our Community-Based Mentoring Program reflected on her experience. She said, “Everyone’s experience is different, but what you will find in being paired with a Little is one of the most unique and wonderful relationships you’ll ever have. You do this simply by being there for them and listening. It’s so simple yet so powerful.”
Read below to learn about the 5 Steps to Become a Big:
STEP #1: COMPLETE THE APPLICATION
First, we ask all applicants to inquire through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America online portal. By entering your zip code, it will automatically connect you to our agency if you live in one of the 42 towns and cities that we operate in. This online form asks for some basic information. From there, you will receive an email with additional questions to answer.
STEP #2: BACKGROUND CHECK AND ONLINE TRAINING
To ensure we are keeping everyone in our programs safe and happy, we conduct a background check for each volunteer. We’ll ask you to complete a CORI/SORI form and to send us three references who can confirm your ability to be a mentor. We also ask you to attend two online training sessions that will go in depth covering what you may need to know when working with youth that have various mental health concerns and LGBTQ+ youth.
STEP #3: INTERVIEW WITH A MATCH SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Yay! You are getting closer to being matched with a Little! You’ll be invited for an interview with one of our Match Support Specialists. Think of this more as a conversation than an interview. It is a chance for us to get to know you, learn about what you’d like to get out of the program, and hear about what your interests are and what you like to do for fun. We really take the time to get to know both our Bigs and Littles so we can match you with a Little who we feel will match your personality and traits well.
STEP #4: ATTEND A BIG TRAINING
Now that you’ve had your interview and the Match Support Specialist has everything they need to know to match you with a Little, we require you to attend a training for all new Bigs. The training will provide you with valuable information to help you build a strong, healthy relationship with your future Little. The staff leading the training will review our guidelines, expectations, and safety regulations. It is also a great opportunity to ask any questions you have.
STEP #5: GET MATCHED WITH YOUR LITTLE
Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to become a Big and officially be matched with a Little! Your Match Support Specialist will review our wait list of Littles in your area and will do their best to find a Little who will be a great fit for you. Sometimes this process can take a while because we strive to find an ideal match as we aim to create a lasting relationship with each match we create.
IT’S TIME TO MEET YOUR LITTLE!
Once your Match Support Specialist has a Little in mind, you will be notified, and they will tell you all about the Little. Once all parties are on board, the Match Support Specialist will set-up what we call a First Match Meeting. The Match Support Specialist will be there to introduce you to the Little and their parent/guardian. From there, you will begin planning your weekly activities and start getting to know your new Little. You’ll stay in touch with your Match Support Specialist monthly so we can make sure everything is going well. It is an exciting time!
If you’re ready to take the first step to become a Big, you can complete the online inquiry here.
Read our full Guide to Becoming a Big and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest here.