If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)! For those who haven’t heard of the program, it’s an organization that links up a mentee with a mentor – a one-to-one mentoring relationship. I first heard of Big Brothers Big Sisters when I was in high school. While I did apply, I felt like I was not mature enough to be a mentor. Additionally, it was probably a good thing that I didn’t go through with the process because I moved from Tucson to Phoenix for Arizona State University.
Years passed and I ended up volunteering with Skate After School. I realize that I love being a mentor – being the oldest in the family, I never really had a mentor growing up. When I read Diana Elizabeth’s post about her Little, I decided that I wanted to sign up for the program.
Types of Mentoring Through BBS
There are two types of mentoring – community-based and site-based.
Community-Based Mentoring: You meet your Little at least once every two weeks for a year and do things you both enjoy doing! Some ideas can include going to movies, hiking, or attending events. The activities are up to you and your Little – of course, their parents and the BBBS specialist as well.
Site-Based Mentoring: Site-based mentoring is usually held at your Little’s school. You visit your Little one hour per week, or at least 2 times per month, during their lunch break and after school. You can eat lunch together, do after school activities, or work on homework!
Big Brothers Big Sister Volunteer Requirements
There are a couple of requirements for becoming a Big in the BBBS organization.
- 18 years or older
- Commit to at least one year
- Meet 2-4 times per month
- Have reliable transportation (community-based) with a valid AZ driver’s license & insurance
- Live in the area at least 3 months prior to applying
- No DUI’s in the past 5 years
How to Become a Big in Big Brothers Big Sisters
You can apply to become a Big through your local chapter website. For Central Arizona, it would be https://www.bbbsaz.org/. Once you submit your interest, a representative from BBBS will contact you regarding an online information session. The session felt like an orientation – it tells you what you can and cannot do. They also walk you through all the rules in the handbook.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Application
After the session, if you wish to proceed with the volunteer process, you would fill out an application. This application asks you several questions, such as why do you want to be a volunteer, your volunteering history, etc. They also ask you for three references including your significant other (or a close friend if you don’t have one). The coordinator will then ask those references to fill out a questionnaire with how you interact with kids. Additionally, they will also be calling your significant other to ask similar questions.
Note: They do ask you to pay for a background check! I believe it was around ~$33!
The next step would be to schedule an in-person interview. They ask you to bring your driver’s license, car insurance, and a photo of yourself. During the interview, they asked me things along the lines of “describe what you and your best friends like to do for fun” or “what do you do when your Little wants you to buy them stuff?”. Additionally, they try to get to know you personally through this process as well as your preference for a Little. The interview took almost 2 hours.
After the interview, the BBBS specialist will touch base with you in several days to let you know if you were accepted or rejected in the program. I was ecstatic to see that I was accepted! Now the waiting part…
After 5 Months of Waiting…
They finally found a match for me! I applied to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters end of December 2019 and was matched with a Little towards the end of May 2020. Because of the pandemic, my Little and I were meeting through Zoom for a while, then transitioned into in-person meetings when businesses were slowly opening up again.
I love my Little so much!
She’s the cutest! We have so many similar interests. She loves makeup, I love makeup. She loves talking, I was nominated ‘Most Talkative‘ in high school. I’m not sure how much I want to disclose about her yet – I want to make sure that she’s comfortable since I’m such a public person.