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.