Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to bringing the power of mentoring to youth from traditionally underserved communities. Through the following specially designed programs, we are able to target specific populations and communities.
Mentoring Children of Prisoners/Amachi
Research shows that 70 percent of children of incarcerated parents will themselves at some point be incarcerated – unless they have positive adult intervention.That is why mentoring children of prisoners is a key component of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ goal to reach more kids, especially those who may face significant risk factors.
Amachi, a West African word that means “who knows but what God has brought us through this child,” is the name of an initiative that connects children of prisoners with mentors recruited through local religious congregations.
We screen and match members of congregations with children who have been identified and enrolled by their custodial parent or guardian. An onsite volunteer coordinator provides a point of contact for ongoing volunteer support and information. Because the church, synagogue, or mosque is a common meeting ground, there are enhanced opportunities for group events involving matches, or for support and training activities for volunteers.
Big Couples Program
Our Big Couples program provides a unique opportunity for married couples. It's a community-based match very similar to that of the one-to-one program, except that the married couples are matched together with one Little Brother. They still meet with their Little at his house and then go participate in activities, the Big Couples program provides a married couple with some flexibility. They can hang out with a Little as a couple, that's great. Or if one spouse is particularly busy one week, then the other can hang with the Little individually.
The Little benefits not only from adding two new caring people into his life, but he also gets to see first-hand how two adults interact in a healthy, loving relationship. The Big Couple program is perfect for any married couple, but particularly for the younger married couples or the "empty nesters" with grown children.