This is our traditional mentoring program that connects children ages 6-17 with committed volunteers that are 19 years of age or older. “Bigs” and “Littles” spend quality one-to-one time out in the community 4-6 hours a month. Together they engage in fun, low-cost, friendship-building activities. The goal of the mentoring relationship is to provide positive guidance and support to enhance the child’s ability to become a confident, competent, and caring adult. A minimum of a one year commitment is required for the program with the hope that the friendship will last a lifetime!
Our proactive approach to reaching more children in a group mentoring setting is developed through partnerships with school districts. These programs offer a select number of mentors the opportunity to be a role model and friend to a student. The mentoring sessions take place at the school where BBBS staff provides and closely supervises activities that the matches do together.
The commitment for School Based Bigs and Littles is one academic year, with weekly or bi-weekly sessions that are planned and facilitated by BBBS staff and school liaisons.
Our Workplace Mentoring Program exposes students to local businesses such as hospitals and corporations. Employees volunteer to mentor the students and provide support and friendship while exploring topics such as decision-making, conflict resolution, self-esteem, long-term life planning, job shadowing, workplace diversity, and college and career preparedness.
Through our College Mentoring Program, college students volunteer to mentor high school students. The younger students meet with their mentors on campus and in addition to mentoring, the program exposes the students to the college experience as they explore majors, how to enroll, and the importance of pursuing their dreams.
Youth Empowerment Program
The Youth Empowerment Program is a group mentoring program for children (11-17) who have minor involvement with the juvenile justice system. Youth connect with mentors in a virtual setting that allows for group discussion and one-to-one time. Participants engage in empowering interactive activities that are curated to the individual needs of the child and include content focused on financial literacy, social and emotional learning, college and workplace readiness, current events and social issues, building healthy habits – and much more.
Once the program is completed successfully, interested youth are invited to join our Community Based Program.
Our C.A.R.E.S Program (Creating Access to Resources, Events, and Support) was developed for all youth enrolled in BBBSCNNJ as a way to address needs and provide benefits that go beyond mentoring. Through this initiative, BBBSCNNJ staff helps connect the families we serve to resources for needs such as home and food security, clothing, mental healthcare, tutoring, camp scholarships, school supplies, groceries, and gifts during the holidays.
When a natural disaster or health emergency arises, our agency works to ensure that we advocate and work quickly to ensure that the families we serve are provided with the resources they need to safely navigate through such challenges. This is made possible through the generosity of community members and businesses that reach out to support our families both in times of need and all year round. Through community partnerships, our C.A.R.E.S. Program also offers our Bigs, Littles, and children waiting to be matched with opportunities to enjoy experiences such as fishing trips, tickets to sporting events, theater, and concerts, holiday parties, back to school events, kayaking, cooking workshops, yoga classes, and more.
Bigs in Blue
Bigs in Blue is a one-to-one mentoring program that connects youth with police, building strong, trusting, and lasting relationships. These relationships can help children develop into confident adults and build stronger bonds between law enforcement and the families they serve.