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Be a Big

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Thank you for your interest in becoming a Big. Please review the FAQs below before completing the online application.

Are you the person we are looking for?

What does a "Big" do?

How do I become involved?

How much time does being a "Big" require?

How do I come up with activities?

How much will mentoring cost me?

Who are the Little Brothers and Little Sisters?


Q: Are you the person we are looking for?

A: Big Brothers and Big Sisters are men and women 21 years of age and older residing in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, and CT) for 6 months or more from all ethnic, occupational, economic, and educational backgrounds. What they have in common is a concern for young people and the ability to relate to them effectively. What we look for in prospective volunteers are personal characteristics rather than professional credentials. Big Brothers and Big Sisters are stable, responsible, mature individuals who have the patience, humor, and flexibility to spend time consistently with a child/teen for at least 1 year.

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Q: What does a Big do?

A mentor is an adult who, along with parents, provides young people with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples. Mentors are good listeners, people who care, and people who want to help young people bring out strengths that are already there. Mentors are not Santa Claus, parents, social workers, or babysitters.

Mentoring produces important results. Children who participate in a mentoring program are...
46% less likely to start using illegal drugs
27% less likely to start drinking
52% less likely to skip school
53% less apt to engage in violent behavior

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Q: How do I become involved?


First, Apply.
Click here to fill out an easy online application!
Your application will be reviewed by a member of our staff, and if it matches the needs of one of the children currently awaiting a Big Brother or Big Sister, you will be contacted with an invitation to attend a volunteer orientation.

Second, Become informed.
At the volunteer orientation, you will learn about our organization, and be able to ask questions and decide whether mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC is a good fit for you.

Third, Get screened.
Because you’ll be working with children in a one-to-one setting, it’s very important to create a safe environment for both you and the child. Our screening process is very thorough and includes an interview that will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and allows us to get to learn more about you as well as which children will best match up with your personality. The Littles and their families go through the same process. Please be prepared to provide an updated resume and valid government issued photo ID at the time of your interview. Also, at the time of your interview, you will be asked to fill out paperwork to begin your background check. Our final screening measure is to contact 3 references that you will be asked to provide on the application.

Fourth, Get trained.
Before sending you out with your Little, all volunteers will be asked to attend a mandatory 2-hour training where you’ll learn about the typical match life cycle as well as how to handle scenarios that may arise during your match. Training is a fun way to meet other volunteers like yourself and learn valuable tips to help further enhance your match.

Additional trainings will also be offered after your match has started. You will be assigned to a Case Manager upon being matched who will keep you up to date on all scheduled trainings.

Fifth, Get matched.
You will then be matched to a child who will best fit your preferences and personality. Your initial meeting with the child is called a Match Meeting where you’ll have the opportunity to meet with your Little, his or her Parent/Guardian, and your Case Manager. During this time you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the guidelines for the match and plan your first outing together. After the Match Meeting you are officially matched and ready for fun! If you have any concerns along the way, your Case Manager will be happy to help you with advice. To ensure that you develop a strong relationship with your Case Manager, we ask that you check-in at least once per month to let him or her know how your match is going.

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Q: How much time does being a Big require?

We ask you to share 2 outings per month with your Little for a period of one year. The majority of our matches meet for 4 hours every other weekend but the time you spend with your Little is arranged between you, the parent/guardian and your Little. You don't have to create time in your busy schedule -- just incorporate your Little into your routine!

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Q: How do I come up with activities?

Bigs spend one-to-one time with a child/teen in the community exploring each others interests. Activities can include watching a ball game, going to a play, or simply taking a walk through the park. The more creative you and your Little can be the more fun you will have.

Along with your imaginations, our matches also have access on a first-come, first-served basis to discounted and donated tickets at local area events including sporting events, music, arts, and education. Matches are also equipped with an activity guide handed out at the Match Meeting with a list of over 300 NYC activities spanning all 5 boroughs.

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Q: How much will mentoring cost me?

Being a mentor is free. The cost of activities between Bigs and Littles is up to you. We suggest that you keep activities low or no cost in order to focus outings more on building your relationship and not so much on how much you’re spending. You’ll find that it costs very little money to have fun with a child.

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Q: Who are the Little Brothers and Little Sisters?

Little Brothers and Little Sisters are youngsters who are in need of another positive influence in their lives to have fun with while receiving guidance and support outside of their immediate family. The majority of children in our program are involved because their parent/guardian recognized the need for specific attention.
Our Littles come from every racial, ethnic, and religious group imaginable, but the majority are African- American and Hispanic children residing in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens.

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Complete the online volunteer mentor application

If you have any questions, please contact our Senior Enrollment Manager at (646) 688-1252 or

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