WE’RE DRAFTING YOU ONTO OUR TEAM
In honor of Super Bowl LV, we are drafting 55 men to join the Big Brothers Big Sisters team and become positive role models to one of the hundreds of boys on our waiting list across Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, and Alachua counties.
70 percent of the kids on our waiting list are boys, but only 30 percent of our applicants are men. It’s time for that to change. Step up and become a mentor to ignite the power and promise of youth through one-to-one mentoring relationships.
GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
Attend one of our Virtual Big Orientation & Training sessions on Monday, February 1st through Thursday, February 4th from 5:30-7 pm.
WIN A LAVONTE DAVID AUTOGRAPHED FOOTBALL
Most children and families served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are facing increased anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentoring relationships protect against the harmful effects of stress and build resilience among children. In response, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has completely reoriented our programming to virtually facilitate these life-changing relationships that ignite the potential of youth in our community.
BECOMING A BIG IS EASY
We understand that your time is valuable, so we’ve created two unique programs to become a Big in your community. Learn more about our Site and Community based programs to fit within your needs below.
- Big Couple: where a committed couple can mentor a Little Brother together, sharing the responsibilities and commitments while also serving as an example of a happy, healthy relationship.
- Sports Buddies: where we match a Big and a Little who share a love of playing and watching sports. We have great partnerships with our local teams and can often offer free tickets to our Sports Buddies.
- Foster care: where we match a volunteer mentor with a child who has been placed in foster care.
How much time does it take to be a Big?
4 to 8 hours a month, depending on the program. In our Site-Based program, you visit your Little for one hour each week during the school year, typically during his or her lunch hour. To realize all of the positive impacts our relationships can incur, we ask for a 12-month minimum commitment in this program. In our Community-Based program, we ask for a minimum of 8 hours a month, which typically equates to two outings each month taking your Little outside their home to engage in some type of activity, typically in the evenings or on weekends. We also offer a Sports Buddy program, which centers around watching and participating in sports, and a Big Couples option, where you and your spouse or significant other share the mentoring experience. We ask for a minimum 15-month commitment in all of our community-based programs.
What’s required to be a Big?
- Agree to honor the minimum commitment (12-15 months, depending on the program) and have the time each week/month to see your Little.
- Successfully pass a Level 2 background check (including fingerprints and driving record.) There is no cost to applicants for the background check.
- Have a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and appropriate transportation for children (for Community-Based volunteers.) For Site-Based you must have reliable transportation to get to your mentoring site even in inclement weather.
- Present a Social Security card or W2 tax form.
- Complete the enrollment process, which includes attending an Orientation & Training session (for the schedule in your county, got to bbbstampabay.org and follow the “Be A Big” links). At the end of the orientation, you will be asked to complete an application (including three references). Approximately a week later you will be asked to participate in a one-on-one personal interview.
What kind of kids do we help?
We initially match children between the ages of 5 and 13 (although once matched they remain in the program through high school graduation). Most of our Littles come from families living below the federal poverty line, while many come from single-parent homes, or have a parent incarcerated or a parent in the military who is deployed elsewhere. We work hard to match you with a child within 15 minutes of where you live that shares your interests and hobbies.
Will I have help?
Absolutely. Every Big and Little “match” is assigned to work with one of our professional staff members, called a Match Support Specialist, who is there to help you overcome any challenges, answer any questions, help you with ideas on match outings and otherwise support the match in any way possible. We host many events for our matches that are free to attend, and we will work with you to help develop skills to become a more effective mentor.
So what is the first step?
Check out the Orientation & Training schedule for your county and just show up. No RSVP required. You’ll learn all about our programs, commitments, expectations and our kids.