What It Takes
Be A Big
Thank you for your interest in volunteering as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah!
Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. You don’t necessarily need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Volunteer now and make a difference in the life of your future “Little Brother or Sister”!
Before you fill out your application, we want you to know a few things about our programs.
To provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change a child’s life for the better, forever.
One-to-one mentoring built on…
- Careful screening
- Thoughtful matching
- Thorough support of the mentoring match
We ask all volunteer mentors to commit to at least 12 months.
Research shows that kids who have a strong relationship with their mentor have positive, lasting changes after 12 months. On average you will spend 4 to 6 hours per month mentoring your Little.
In Site-Based programs, it is an hour on a specified day of the week, weekly for the academic year and happens at a set location.
In mentor2.0, we hope you will stay together about 3.5 years. Weekly contact with your mentee is electronic and in-person meetings are monthly on a set schedule during the academic year
*Please note* Adults charged with a DWI or DUI in the past 7 years are ineligible to volunteer as mentors in our programs.
A great mentoring relationship can be a positive factor that helps balance some of the challenges kids face.
- Substance abuse
- Problems in school
- Problems relating to peers
The kids we serve have many wonderful qualities. They also face multiple risk factors in their lives. Here are a few examples:
- 93% are living in low-to-moderate income households
- 48% are living with a single parent and 8% are living with neither parent
- 66% are kids of color
- 13% have an incarcerated parent
The positive benefits of a Little having a mentor includes
- their Big providing a positive adult role model
- Provides new experiences and perspectives
- Promotes positive youth development (sense of self, sense of future, enthusiasm for learning
You do not need special skills, a ton of money, or to know that you are “good with kids” you just need to be:
- A caring, supportive person
- Willing to share time, ideas, new experiences
- Someone who embraces differences and loves to learn
- Able to set and hold boundaries
Almost all of the kids who need and want a Big Brother or a Big Sister have situations in their lives that reduce the likelihood that they will thrive as they grow up.
Your role as a mentor is to let them know they are important, that you care, and that despite their challenges you want to help them be their best selves.
There are many ways you can help improve the life of a Little, but there are a few things mentors are not expected to be, such as
- A judge
- A savior
- A parent substitute
- A member of the Little’s family
- A credit card, babysitter, chauffeur
- A professional counselor, therapist or social worker
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah operates three different one-to-one mentoring programs:
- Community-Based (Meet 2 – 4 times per month for whatever activities you choose together. Volunteer requirement: must be at least 18.)
- Site-Based (Meet weekly at a site supervised by BBBSU staff – most are at schools in late afternoons. Volunteer requirement: must be at least a Freshman in high school).
- mentor2.0 (Communicate electronically weekly and meet in-person monthly in evening. Focused on college access & success. Volunteer requirement: must have college degree.)
After you are matched with your Little a Mentoring Specialist on BBBSU staff will call you 13 times in the first year of the match (and less frequently after that) to help with things like:
- ideas for building a friendship
- information about resources
- support and feedback
Thank you for considering this commitment of your time and talents.
Do you feel like becoming a Big isn’t a good fit for you? We would love to talk to you about other volunteer opportunities with us!
BBBSU also needs financial support to continue to offer quality mentoring support. On average making/supporting matches costs $1300 each. You can help!
Consider making a financial donation, helping plan an event, donating to an event, or hosting a clothing drive.
Contact Brandi at 801-743-1674 or [email protected]
Please complete the questionnaire on the next page.
It will take you 15 – 20 minutes to complete and submit. Click here to download a PDF as a reference of the previous information to complete the questionnaire.
After you submit the questionnaire…
After you’ve submitted your questionnaire and application, we will email you a complete list of next steps to becoming a Big. This includes setting up an interview, providing references, etc. Your application will be processed and we will contact you to let you know if you are accepted.
Give us a few weeks as we spend some time reviewing Little applications, find kids on the waiting list who want a Big, and find the one we think will most benefit from your mentorship.