Changing perspectives. Changing lives.
Founded originally as a Kansas City Jaycee project in 1964, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City (BBBSKC) has served more than 20,000 at-risk youth in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Serving over 1,700 youth in Kansas City each year, BBBSKC provides children facing adversity in one-to-one life-changing friendships with adult mentors. BBBSKC matches school-aged youth (Littles) from one-parent or other non-traditional homes, with caring, adult volunteers (Bigs).
Statistically, children growing up in one-parent homes experience significant increased risk, particularly in the areas of education, illegal activity, and suicide. While these youth make up about 25% of the total number of school-aged youth (approximately 80,000) in the Kansas City metropolitan area, they account for 90% of juvenile court cases, 90% of high school dropouts, and 60% of teen suicides.
BBBSKC believes that youth who have a positive adult influence in his or her life are better able to reach their full potential. These one-to-one friendships, or “matches”, last a minimum of one year. BBBSKC’s average match length is 27 months, which is significantly longer than the national average match length of 20 months. BBBSKC offers at-risk children a long-term developmental relationship with a caring adult. Bigs serve as friends, mentors and role models, helping youth gain greater self-confidence and leadership skills. This model has been proven effective in changing the self-image of the child and therefore his or her behavior.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Mission: To create and support life-changing friendships for children
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Vision: To create positive change within our community through the power of one-to-one mentoring.
All BBBSKC matches are characterized by four elements that most mentoring programs do not feature:
According to evaluation data collected in 2012 from children who matched with a Big:
• 96% report no alcohol or drug abuse.
• 93% said they have learned new things since being matched with their Big.
• 84% say that they feel better about whom they are.
• 81% report that they have developed new interests since being matched.
Ultimately, the outcome that BBBSKC is looking to achieve is to give youth a chance to better their lives by installing a positive adult role model to help them achieve happy, successful lives.
BBBSKC is one of the fastest growing Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in the country and has been named the Agency of the Year, out of 400 network affiliates three out of the last four years.