PROGRAMS

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donor and volunteer supported organization proven to help vulnerable children of single, low-income and/or incarcerated parents succeed. We create professionally supported one-to-one relationships between children facing adversity and trained and supervised volunteer role models.

COMMUNITY BASED

Adult mentors are paired with children ages 5-15, with the commitment to see each other 2-4 times per month for a couple hours. Each match is hand-selected by our team based on geography and compatible interests and personality. Bigs and Littles plan their own outings filled with things they both like to do, like sports, going to the beach or music.

SCHOOL BASED

Qualified high school students serve as mentors to an elementary school Little. In this one-to-one mentoring program, Littles and Bigs meet once a week in a group setting at the Littles’ school. Current participating schools include Sinsheimer, Del Mar and Nipomo Elementary. This program is facilitated by a Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and has a curriculum designed specifically for this peer-to-peer age group. Topics include academic achievement, bullying, self-esteem and relationship building blocks.

BECOME A MENTOR

STEP

1

INQUIRE

Call (805) 781‑3226 or (805) 239‑3534 to inquire.

STEP

2

APPLY

Our team makes your enrollment streamlined and simple. Complete an application and background check form then attend an interview and informative training.

STEP

3

GET MATCHED

Attend an introduction hosted by staff where volunteers and families meet.

STEP

4

STAY CONNECTED

Regular check ins support volunteers and families and ensure child safety.

COMMON INTERESTS

We spend time getting to know Bigs and Littles to make a good match and lasting friendship. We look for things you have in common so you will always have fun together.

GEOGRAPHY

We do our best to make connecting with your Little as convenient as possible by considering your location and travel preferences. Youth throughout our county want a Big Brother or Big Sister.

PERSONALITY

We take into account preferences, personalities and cultural background and work hard to make a match that is compatible so your friendship lasts a lifetime.

FAQ

Who are the Bigs in the program?

Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!

When can I see my Little?

As a Big/Little team, you decide together what you want to do and then your Little gets parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Your local agency will provide more guidance on this. Until your relationship is established the outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little and you.

What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?

Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. In addition, the agency hosts over 60 events annually that are free to attend and include everything from kayaking and kickboxing to beach days. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!

How much money should I spend?

The quality of time invested with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help him see the world through a different lens so you can inspire him to become something he never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Shoot hoops at a local park, play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big Brother, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.

Can I bring my spouse, a friend or family member on outings?

In the beginning it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little and the impact you have on their life.

What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters once I get matched?

Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.

Will I become a replacement parent?

No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!

If I am a parent, how can I find more information online before I enroll my child?

Here is a useful guide for parents interested in enrolling their child.

ENROLL A CHILD

Could your little one use a Big Brother or Big Sister? For more than 20 years, we’ve been able to recruit, screen, match and support mentoring relationships that have changed the lives of thousands of young people — one child at a time.