It All Started with a Court Clerk Who Cared

For more than a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been changing kids’ lives by giving them a champion to draw out and defend their potential. In Miami, we were established 60 years ago. Here is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ history at a glance:

  • 1902


    Ernest Coulter, court clerk, assists in organizing the first New York Children’s Court: Ladies of Charity, later Catholic Big Sisters of New York, to help girls who come before the New York Children’s Court.

  • 1903

    Businessman Irvin F. Westheimer wants to support a young boy in Cincinnati, OH; seeds are planted for the start of Big Brothers in Cincinnati.



  • 1904


    Ernest Coulter founds the organized Big Brothers movement by obtaining 39 volunteers, who each agree to champion one boy.

  • 1914

    Ernest Coulter embarks on nationwide lecture tour on behalf of Big Brothers; planning begins for a national Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization.



  • 1917


    The first national conference of Big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations is held in Grand Rapids, MI.

  • 1958

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami is incorporated.
    Big Brothers Association is chartered by Congress.



  • Late 1960s


    Big Sisters program begins in Miami.

  • 1970

    Big Sisters International is incorporated.



  • 1972


    Big Brothers of Miami and Big Sisters of Miami merge to create Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami.

  • 1988

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami celebrates serving 12,600 youth since incorporation.



  • 1990


    Group Mentoring Program for children on the wait list begins in Miami.

  • 1995

    Public/Private Ventures Study on Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Mentoring shows measurable, positive results on youth who have a Big Brother or Sister, seminal research in the field of youth mentoring.



  • 1996


    School-based mentoring at two Miami-Dade County Public Schools begins in Miami.

  • 1998

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami celebrates serving 28,200 youth since incorporation.
    Big Brothers Big Sisters International is founded.



  • 2004


    School to Work workplace mentoring program begins in Miami.

  • 2006

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recognizes BBBS Miami as having the Board of the Year.



  • 2007


    The Five Millers Family Foundation Continuing Education Scholarship Program launched in Miami.
    Public/Private Ventures conducts a study on Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based Mentoring program, reinforcing the value of strong, long-lasting relationships and leading to program enhancements.

  • 2008

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami celebrates serving 42,500 youth since incorporation.



  • 2010


    The BIG Foundation launched.

  • 2011

    Bigs in Blue launches, matching youth and law enforcement professionals in Miami.



  • 2012


    In January, Big Brothers Big Sisters releases first-ever, nationwide Youth Outcomes Survey (YOS) Report, which reflects the collective progress and success in three outcome areas known to significantly change the lives of children for the better, forever – educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, and socio-emotional competency.

  • 2013

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami is named the #1 BBBS agency in Florida and a top 20 BBBS agency nationwide.



  • 2014


    Carnival Foundation donates $5 million for new BBBSM headquarters.

  • 2016

    The Carnival Center for Excellence opens as the new BBBSM headquarters in Miami.



  • 2017


    BBBSM receives the National Program Quality Award for the fourth year.

  • 2018

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami celebrates 60 years of helping 65,000+ Littles in Miami Dade County.



  • 2019


    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami rebrands with a new look and a new message to empower, ignite, and defend the potential of youth in Miami.