TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO INSPIRE POTENTIAL
To apply as a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills, fill out the form below, and our Match Support Specialists will contact you about the next steps in the process.
Community-based mentoring relationships involve one-on-one outings and activities, doing things the Big and Little enjoy together, like:
Taking a walk in the park
Going to a museum
Going to an event hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills
Listening to music
Hanging out and talking
Hiking + exploring the Black Hills
Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles on weekday evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them.
All it takes is 4 hours a month.
ROLE MODELS MAKE AN IMPACT
Studies show that children who have role models are more likely to improve in school and in their relationships with family and friends, and less likely to skip school or use illegal drugs or alcohol. Students who are successful in school are less likely to drop out, abuse drugs, or commit crimes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who are the Bigs in the program?
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.
When can I see my Little?
As a Big/Little team, you decide together what you want to do and then your Little gets approval from his or her parent. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills staff will provide guidance and support on outings. The outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents, your Little, and you.
How much money should I spend?
The quality of the time you invest 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 your Little see the world through a different lens so you can inspire your Little to become something they never thought possible. If you are going to spend money, we encourage you to seek out low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. Play a game together, or share that pizza that you were going to have for lunch anyway. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills offers donor-supported events and activities that are a great way to meet other Bigs and Littles. As a Big, you may also receive notices for free tickets to cultural and sports activities for you both to enjoy.
What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library, check out a book and read together. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Go on a nature walk. 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. 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!
Can I bring my spouse, a friend, or a family member on outings?
In the beginning it’s most 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.
What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little, one of our Match Support Specialist 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. Our staff will help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.
Will I become a replacement parent?
No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!
For questions + additional support on being a big, give us a call at 605-343-1488 or email our Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org