We connect “Littles” with “Bigs” who can help them to believe that their present situation doesn’t have to be their future. To do this, along with a network of donors, partners, family members and advocates, we offer mentoring programs established to meet the specific needs of Westchester’s at-risk youth. Each program’s Social Worker focuses on supporting the Big/Little matches’ unique needs in order to best ensure positive experiences.
In our traditional mentor-mentee approach, we match children from 7 to 17 years old with an adult role model above the age of 21. Together they spend one-on-one time for at least 4 hours per month, enjoying low or no cost activities of their choice in their own community. These relationships provide mentees with a support system, helping them to develop themselves, broaden their life experiences, and manage the variety of challenges they face.
Site-Based Workplace Mentoring
Here, our matches spend quality time together at their Bigs’ workplace. Our Littles go to enjoy structured activities with their Bigs; they participate in group work, art projects, career exploration, and one-on-one quality time. This allows them to foster meaningful relationships in a comfortable and professional setting. As part of this program, Littles also have the opportunity to participate in workshops encouraging vocational development and job-related skill building.
I Believe, I Achieve
I Believe, I Achieve (IBIA) is a site-based, holistic program that offers one-to-one mentoring, focused on providing middle school students and their parents/guardians with valuable resources alongside their organization/school and community. There are several aspects to this enrichment program, including in-depth academic support, exposure to life experiences through field trips and college campus visits, parent/guardian education and incentive programs, and ongoing community involvement.
Volunteer Big Brothers and Big Sisters from Manhattanville, Mercy and Purchase Colleges are matched with Littles. They work together one-on-one, after school, on a structured curriculum. Topics include life skills, homework help, educational games, and team building. As parent/guardian involvement is integral to the Little’s success, we also require their participation in the program. Parents and guardians attend family workshops and school activities, as well as other types of events within the community. Built-in incentives encourage and ensure their participation. Additionally, Littles are enrolled in the summer program, which includes field trips, opportunities for athletics and academics, and other educational activities