Why be a Big?

No child can control the situation into which he or she is born. Sometimes, circumstances do not allow a child’s abilities to flourish, but that does not mean that they lack hope or potential.

Thousands of youth in our community have great potential – the potential to graduate high school and go to college, to get a job and provide for themselves and their families, to realize their dreams and be impactful members of our community. What they may be lacking is someone to defend their potential, the missing piece of their puzzle that you, as a Big Brother or a Big Sister, can fill.

As a Big, you can step up and defend that potential, through either one-to-one mentoring or Group Engagement & Mentoring.

Process to Become a Big

Support and Structure Through Every Step

All Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami (BBBSM) volunteers go through a screening process to help create safe, meaningful, and lasting relationships. The application and enrollment process usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete. Bigs are matched with Littles based on preferences and mutual interests. Once matched, trained Program Specialists provide you with ongoing support for the duration of your mentoring relationship.

Step 1: Application

Complete the online application here. On the application, you will select where you would like to volunteer: in the community, at a school, at the Carnival Center for Excellence, or at work. Once you submit your application, an Intake Specialist will call you to schedule a one-hour, in-person interview.

Step 2: Orientation & Interview

When you arrive, you will attend an orientation to provide you with an overview of the services offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as a training session on child safety and healthy Big-Little relationships. After the orientation, a Program Specialist dedicated to supporting you throughout your volunteer experience will conduct an interview to get to know you better. This allows BBBSM to make a match that takes into account your interests, background, and personality.

Step 3: In-Depth Screening & Match

When you come in for the interview, you will need to bring a copy of your driver’s license and a printed statement of your auto insurance liability coverage. BBBSM will run your fingerprints and conduct a Level II national background check on you; child safety is our number one priority!

Once your background comes back clear and your Program Specialist makes a final recommendation for acceptance, you become a Big ready to be matched. Your Program Specialist will use information you provided to recommend either a Little or a group of Littles in Group Engagement & Mentoring.

Step 4: Match Introduction

For one-to-one mentoring, your Program Specialist will schedule a time for you to meet your Little and your Little’s parent or guardian – an opportunity to start getting to know each other in a supported environment. For community-based mentoring, you will also schedule your first outing with your Little.

Step 5: Ongoing Support

Once you meet your Little, you will be free to move forward with the mentoring relationship. For community-based mentoring, this means making plans to meet with your Little in the community. For site-based mentoring or School to Work, you will either go to your Little’s school, meet at the Carnival Center for Excellence, or your Little will come to your place of work on a regular basis.

Your Program Specialist will provide ongoing support to make sure the relationship continues in a positive manner. When talking to your Program Specialist, feel free to share successes with your Little(s)! It is also important to voice any concerns you may have to allow your Program Specialist to make recommendations or take action to fix any issues; this allows for a lasting, fun, and impactful relationship between you and your Little(s).