Mentoring

Mentoring

Through this Big Brother Big Sister program, we match caring adult volunteers with Jewish children ages 6 to 18. These one-on-one mentoring matches help youth become self-sufficient, healthy and productive individuals.

Little Moments. Big Magic.

In our own lives each one of us has been influenced by someone other than our parents. Think back to your own childhood. Who was that special person who brought a little magic to your life? Big Brothers and Sisters are mentoring adults and friends who not only help create wonderful memories for children, but help them live bigger lives. Studies show that children with mentors become more self sufficient and confident, do better in school and are more likely to avoid illegal behaviors.  

Since 1919, the Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Association (JBBBSA), a charter member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, has been providing children with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change lives for the better, forever.

We match caring adult volunteers (Bigs) with Jewish children (Littles) ages 6 to 18 based on similar interests and personalities. Our Littles come from a diverse variety of backgrounds and needs. These one-on-one mentoring matches help children and teens become self-sufficient, healthy and productive individuals by pairing them with a positive adult role model.

Jewish Big Brother Big Sister Mission

To aid in the development of condifent, responsible and caring individuals by providing high-quality, professionally supported mentoring services and programs to Jewish children, their families and the diversified clients of Bellefaire JCB.

The Magic of Mentoring

As a program of Bellefaire JCB, JBBBS benefits from the vast prevention and education services that the agency provides through its licensed counselors and social workers. Each match is supported by a professional therapist who helps the pair develop their relationship and reap many life-learning and long-time benefits.

Big Benefits for Littles

  • Improve study habits
  • Learn new skills
  • Enhance social and communication skills
  • Experience something new
  • Build lasting friendships
  • Develop self-confidence
  • Realize their potential 

Just-As-Big Benefits for Bigs

  • Supporting youth facing adversity as a role model and friend
  • Shaping someone’s life and having fun at the same time
  • Meeting other professionals
  • Sharing new experiences
  • Making a difference in your community
Watch Magic of Mentoring Video Now

“When I was 22 a friend convinced me to become a Big Sister with Bellefaire JCB. Pow! I never expected that my Little would become one of my strongest sources of energy. The past four years have been such a meaningful experience for both of us. Hannah helps me see the world clearly and I help support her dreams.”

David's Story

Ten-year-old David had been suffering from depression since his parents’ divorce a year ago. He had withdrawn from his friends and teachers noticed a decline in school.

Read More

Become A Little

There are many reasons why a child would benefit from having a Big Sister or Brother. Maybe you have a new baby or another child at home with special needs that is preoccupying your time. You might be a single parent looking for a role model for your child. Or maybe your child has emotional, behavioral or a learning challenges and would benefit from having an adult mentor help him or her learn to process these differences or talk about his or her daily experiences. No matter what the situation, a Big is a valuable role model who can support your parenting role by helping with homework, offering solutions to a problem, or just be there to listen.

How the Program Works

  • Jewish children ages of 6 to 18 are eligible to be matched with a Big in our program.
  • Your child and their Big will spend time together about twice a month. Activities can vary and include walks in the park, biking, bowling, playing games, cooking, scrapbooking, grabbing a bite to eat or helping with a school project.
  • As a parent, your time commitment includes in-person meetings with the case manager and your child for the initial inquiry process, during the match meeting when your child’s Big is introduced, as well as two meetings the first year and the annual meeting.
  • We require a minimum one-year commitment; however, most matches last for several years – with many relationships becoming life-long friendships.
  • There is no cost to you.

Let's Get Started

To start the process, fill out this application. A case manager will then call to set up a time to meet with you and your child. This will be an informal interview for us to get to know you and your needs, and for you and your child to ask questions about the program. 

We match Bigs with Littles based on common interests and what we believe is best for your child. A match might be made quickly if the right Big is on the waiting list or your child may be placed on a waiting list until we find the best match. We work diligently to recruit and train Bigs all the time.

Mentor A Child

You have the power to make a BIG difference with little effort – just by being you. By nature, children look up to older brothers and sisters and yearn to follow in their footsteps. Being a role model and friend not only supports a youth who is facing adversities, it brings fulfillment and satisfaction to you.

Many children in our program have unresolved issues resulting from the loss of a parent or other changes at home. Others may have withdrawn from their friends and family, exhibit depression or have been reluctant to emotionally invest in relationships. Some are immigrants faced with the challenges of acculturation and feel isolated, detached and are struggling to succeed in school. No matter what the situation, a Big is a valuable role model who helps with homework, offers solutions to a problem, or is an ear to listen. As a role model, you will help your Little learn to build relationships, develop self-confidence and generally become a happier, stronger individual.

How the Program Works

  • We always have boys and girls on our waiting list and therefore have an ongoing need for big brothers and big sisters who are 21 and older.
  • When you are matched with a little, we ask that you commit to getting together with your Little twice a month for a minimum of one year. We’re pretty confident that you will want your match to last much longer!
  • You have the option of where and how you spend your time with your LITTLE and how much you choose to spend. One-on-one time could be spent hiking and biking, playing catch, bowling, going to a movie, walking a dog, cooking or baking, going to the zoo, listening to music, or playing board or video games.

Let’s Get Started

To start the process, fill out an application. Our screening process includes background checks, motor vehicle checks and an in-person interview.

You will be provided with a thorough training given by one of our independently licensed, Master’s level case managers. During orientation interest forms are completed, which allow us to match you with a Little that shares similar personalities and hobbies. The most important aspect of being a BIG is to be there for and to listen to your Little. They may just need a friend.

Learn More About Our Big/Little Mentoring Program

Call Us: 216-320-6845

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