Mentor Mondays: Becoming a Big

(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Have you heard of Big Brothers Big Sisters, but you’re not sure it’s right for you or how to get involved? Then, this article is for YOU!

You hear about Big Brothers Big Sisters and are interested, you think working with children can be fun, you might already have younger siblings or children. What’s next?

As a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, we ask for a time commitment of at least 4 hours a month for 18 months. Our ultimate goal is for a match to last until your Little graduates from high school. Volunteers are asked to simply by consistent and to build a relationship with their Little to ignite their potential. Once a relationship has started being built we can tackle goals together. All potential volunteers fill out an application with Big Brothers Big Sisters asking for at least 3 references, history, contact information, policy information, and agency information. After the application potential volunteers are asked to schedule an in-person interview with a Mentoring Specialist.

During the interview, we discuss why you want to become a mentor if you are well suited to mentor if you can meet the time commitment, history, family, job, friends, interests, and much more. The interview not only helps us determine if you are a potential volunteer but also helps us determine which child you will work best with and who shares your interests.

If you have been through a certain life situation and are comfortable working with a child going through the same thing we may match you with a child who is struggling with a parent’s divorce, death of a family member, anxiety, etc. We also train all potential volunteers in child safety and our agency policies.

Once your interview is complete we contact your references and get your background check. If you are interested in having your potential Little at your home after you’ve been matched for at least 3 months we will also need to do a background check for everyone in the home 18 years of age or older. This process can take time depending on your references and background check.

Once we have received all the information we will let you know if you have been accepted as a mentor or if you do not meet our agency’s requirements. If you are accepted, we will let you know about a Little who we believe you will work well with.

Currently, we are recruiting more Littles to add to our waiting list. IF you believe that Little sounds like a good match we will contact the Parent/Guardian and Little and tell them about you. If all accept then we meet and start the match!  We will help you with activity ideas and can provide online trainings for just about anything. Once matched you will be assigned a mentoring specialist who will be with you for your entire match. We also offer free outings for matches to attend throughout the year.

It only takes one person in a child’s life who believes in them to make a BIG difference. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Big Brothers and Big Sisters of East Central Ohio at 330-339-6916.

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