Ernest Coulter, a court clerk from New York City, started New York Big Brothers in 1904, which would eventually become Big Brothers Big Sisters. Coulter was influenced by the work of Judge Julius Mayer of the New York Children’s Court, where Coulter worked. Judge Mayer recruited influential men to mentor delinquent boys who came before him.
Coulter became increasingly appalled by the suffering and misery of the thousands of children who came through the court. In late 1904, he appeared before a group of civic and business leaders and described a boy about to be jailed: “There is only one way to save that youngster, and that is to have some earnest, true man volunteer to be his Big Brother, to look after him, help him to do right, make the little chap feel that there is at least one human being in this great city who takes a personal interest in him. Someone who cares whether he lives or dies. I call for a volunteer!” Every man in the room raised his hand.
The following year, Catholic Big Sisters, the first known Big Sisters program in the country, was formed in New York.
In 1976, Monmouth County resident Curtis Colby began mentoring a boy named Joey whose father had died. Joey was receiving counseling services, and Curtis volunteered to spend time with Joey through CPC. Curtis soon realized the positive impact his one-to-one friendship had on Joey. Joey had a younger brother who had an equal need for a positive male adult, and Curtis was determined to find him one. Curtis took it upon himself to contact Monmouth County Division of Social Services and with their support and his leadership, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County was officially established.
Over the years, the need to expand our programs into Middlesex County became more and more apparent. Through countless efforts, our agency gained approval by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to serve the youth in the county, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties was formed on January 1, 2011.
In 2020, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties expanded to also serve Bergen, Passaic, Sussex, Warren, Morris, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Ocean and is now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey.
Our Agency Today
BBBSCNNJ provides one-to-one mentoring for youth ages 6-18 through our Community Based, School Based, Workplace, College, Bigs in Blue, Kids Club, and Back on Track Programs. By placing children in a quality mentoring relationship, we are able to provide them with the tools they need to become competent, conﬁdent, and caring members of their community.
We partner with parents/guardians, volunteers, and others in the community and hold ourselves accountable for each child in our program achieving:
- Higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships
- Avoidance of risky behaviors
- Educational Success
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donor-supported, volunteer agency and an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with its own audited financial statement. Funding comes from community support through individual gifts, grants, and special events.
Each time we pair a child with a Big Brother or Big Sister, we start something incredible: a one-to-one relationship built on trust and friendship that can blossom into a future of unlimited potential. And thanks to the first-ever nationwide impact study of a mentoring organization, we have the facts to prove it.
Locally, our 2020 Outcomes Report was compiled from completed Youth Outcomes Surveys (YOS) given to our Littles and shows the positive impact of their friendship with their Big.