Become a BIG, and help
a young person reach
their full POTENTIAL.
Mentors level the playing field to ensure Central Arkansas can fulfill its promise to develop, educate, graduate, and build world-ready young people.
When a young person is connected to the necessary tools, resources, and relations they enter adulthood...
• College and Career Ready
• Civically Engaged
• Financially Empowered
• Emotionally Intelligent
• Socially Connected
The young people we serve want to be great too and one person can be the green light to be great. At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas, we understand that every person can benefit from having a champion who sees the best in them. That's why we partner with parents and educators to match 6 to 16 years old with mentors to do life with them.
We want to impact over 200 young people through the
power of mentorship this year.
SO...What does a BIG do?
Bigs step up.
Littles want and deserve stable relationships with members of our community from all walks of life. To stabilize the relationship, Bigs committee to a minimum of 12 months, two outings per month, for a minimum of four (4) hours. Some of our Bigs and Littles opt into the option of staying together past that first year, sometimes they become connecting for a lifetime.
Bigs have a good time
Bigs and Littles hang out and talk, play games, catch a game or movie, read books, share meals, fishing, tour museums… The activity list goes on and on but it’s stuff that people like doing together.
Mentorship can be an intimidating word. But a mentor is someone who listens, inspires, motivates, and exposes their littles to the world of possibilities for their lives.
Bigs are supported
Bigs are an extension of our agency’s presence in a young person’s life. You’ll have the support of this agency, the buy-in of the littles parent and teacher, and, of course, our high trained program staff, who are available 24/7 to answer questions and provide additional training.
Youth are matched in a one-to-one relationship with an adult that is best for them, we try to
stick to the same gender but we do make exceptions. Big Brother and Big Sisters are
champions for young people. Serving as a source of inspiration, encouragement, fun times, and accountability.
Make it a family affair. Many people would rather serve their community alongside their spouse or kids. Our Big Couples and Big Families sometimes double and triple the impact on their littles.
Serving children who are waiting on a 1 on 1 match through our BIG Group Engagement and
Mentoring program is a priority. We develop partnerships with police, fire, medical, and military organizations who serve as Big Responders, fulling a critical need in developing enduring and trusting relationships between communities and first responders.
3 Steps to start something BIG.
1. SUBMIT APPLICATION
Individuals (at least 18 years old, couples, and entire
families can serve as Bigs. Submit your individual applications to Start Something BIG.
Let’s get to know each other and give you an opportunity to ask any clarifying questions. We interview all potential bigs and littles so we can understand their interest, personality, needs, and preferences. We strive to make matches that are destined for each other. It’s part of the BIG Advantage of mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas.
3. MATCH INTRODUCTION
Once we identify your Little, well set up an introduction. You won't regret showing up big for them. The impact you will make on your little will last a lifetime.
Not READY FOR A BIG
Questions? Answers? We are hosting bi-weekly info sessions online for potential Bigs. These sessions are 30 minutes and provide information on what it means to be a BIG, stores from current Bigs and Littles, and live Q&A.
LUNCH & LEARN
You know people who are like-minded who may want to serve with you. Get 10 or more people together to have a conversation with one of the staff members, and we'll come to you with refreshments!
Need more INFORMATION?
Get in touch with Erin Gary (email@example.com) our Director of Programs, Recruitment, and Operations
How much time will it take to be a BIG?
You'll need to commit at least four (4) hours over two (2) visits minimum each month to spending time with your Little Brother or Little Sister. However, because Littles deserve consistency, we require Bigs to make a 12-month commitment (in hopes you'll continue beyond that!).
What will my LITTLE and I do together (and will it cost a lot)?
Bigs and Littles hang out and talk, run errands together, catch a game or a movie, grab a meal or make one... you know: regular stuff kids and teens like to do. It doesn't involve expensive gifts and activities; the time you spend with your Little is what matters most. Our Match Support Specialists are always on hand to give you great ideas for ways to share time with your Little.
How do kids get signed up for the program?
Typically, the parent/guardian initiates the youth application process. That includes an interview with the parent(s)/guardian and prospective Little. This interview ensures the best possible match/relationship.
Who else is involved?
A Match Support Specialist will support you, your Little, and the parent(s)/guardian. These trained experts help you all grow together to build a trusting, lasting relationship.
Can I bring my spouse or friends along?
Not at first, because it's tough to build a trusting relationship with someone when you have an audience! Over time, though, it's good for Littles to get to know people who matter to you. Just take care to prioritize your Little ones so they don't feel left out. Remember, you may be the only person in their life who's all "theirs."
Want your spouse or family to be part of the fun? Consider being a Big Couple or Big Family.
What if I have a concern?
Any relationship can feel complicated from time to time. Because our Littles are navigating all sorts of challenges, you may come across situations you're not sure how to handle. Our Match Support Specialists are available to address any bumps along the way.
Why does mentoring work?
Just like the rest of us, Littles can get stuck in one way of thinking, seeing, or going about things. But, through an enduring relationship with a mentor, youth learn new things, grow in self-confidence, and make healthy choices... all because they are introduced to what's possible.
Why should I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Central Arkansas has a number of organizations doing incredible work in the community, and we're just thrilled you're looking for a place to volunteer! We hope you'll choose to join our efforts because of Big Brothers Big Sisters' long history of proven success. For over 50 years, we've been helping Littles do better in school, stay out of trouble and pursue their dreams. Together, we're making a massive difference in the quality of life for youth in Central Arkansas.