BE A MENTOR
Every child is born with potential. But one-third of our nation’s youth are growing up without a positive role model. Stand with us to ignite, empower and inspire their potential.
TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO BE A BIG
SIGN UP FOR A VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION
If you are unavailable during the volunteer orientation dates listed, schedule a 20-minute phone call with a member of our team to learn more about the volunteer experience.
+ Be 18 years of age or older
+ Pass a background check
+ Have a valid CA drivers license, insurance, and vehicle
+ Commit to at least one year in the program
+ BIG Couples must meet all of the above requirements and be in a relationship of 2+ years.
THE VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
THE VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
No two mentors are alike. They have incredibly diverse backgrounds. They’re college students. Baristas. Real estate agents. Retirees. But the one thing they have in common? They’re changemakers. Join us and clear a path to a bigger future for a child who has the potential to change the world.
Get to know us by attending an info session
Meet with a member of our team and answer some questions so we can get to know you.
Once your application is approved, you’ll meet your Little for the first time at our office.
Hang out twice a month for a few hours. Your friendship can ignite their potential!
YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
You’ll meet with your Little twice a month as a traditional mentor.
Together, you decide what you want to do and then your Little gets parent approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and see each other on a regular basis.
The quality of time invested with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. That’s why we don’t encourage spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is to help him see the world through a different lens so you can inspire him to become something he never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Shoot hoops at a local park, play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies offer donor-supported group activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big Brother, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
Yes, you will participate in a volunteer training workshop where we will walk you through situational scenarios to help prepare you for your match. We also have a series of online videos for you to watch to feel completely comfortable in your match. In addition, your match support specialist will be there every step of the way to offer customized support as your match progresses.
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. In addition, the agency hosts weekend events that are free to attend and include everything from kayaking and kickboxing to beach days. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: Keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!
In the beginning it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little and the impact you have on their life.
Once you are matched with your Little, a Match Support Specialist from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Match Support Specialist there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a positive role model to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
Yes! Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to ensuring its programs are inclusive to all youth and volunteers. Equality, diversity and inclusiveness are critical components of our mission. We encourage volunteers of all sexual orientations, races, colors, religions, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, ages, national origins, disabilities, marital status or military status to get involved. Click here to learn more about our commitment to our LGBTQ+ mentors and youth.