Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Sky Country creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.
By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers, and others in the community, we are accountable for each child in our program achieving:
1. Higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships
2. Avoidance of risky behaviors
3. Educational achievement
A ‘Big’ is a volunteer mentor who is matched in a one-to-one relationship with a child (‘Little’) in our program. A Big is a friend, a supporter, and a positive and consistent addition to the life of a Little. Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Big Couples or Big Families are not replacement parents, babysitters, or therapists. Instead, a Big is someone who shares a different perspective on life and helps their Little realize their endless potential.
A 'Little' is a child in our program between the ages of 5 and 18. Our Littles come from various backgrounds, neighborhoods and schools. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have a need for friendship with a caring adult.
We hold ourselves accountable to measurable outcomes for the kids in our program. We conduct a Youth Outcome Survey (YOS) to see those real, measurable results for ourselves.
More information can be found at bbbs.org
If you are interested in joining a special event committee, becoming member of our board, or volunteering at one of our special events, click HERE to fill out a form to contact us.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Sky Country is a financially independent BBBS agency. Your dollars stay local to help create meaningful matches between children 'Littles' and volunteer mentors 'Bigs'. Lander Bachert, our CEO, is happy to call or meet with you in person to discuss the possibilities for your donation. Please call 406.587.1216 ext. 1 to speak with her directly.
Products and services donated to our agency help keep our costs down so more of our funds can go directly to supporting our mentoring program. To donate a product or service, please call our office at 406.587.1216. Thank you!
Click HERE to find out more and fill out our online Volunteer Application and Pre-Interview Questionnaire.
To become a Big, we ask that our volunteer mentors:
There are several reasons you may be on our waitlist after either inquiring to become a mentor or after you have been accepted as a mentor in our program. Historically, we have received a greater number of potential Big Sister inquiries than Big Brother inquiries, and we have a greater need for Big Brothers, so Big Sisters may have to wait a bit longer to be interviewed or matched. We may be waiting for your background check, DMV check, or references to return our calls. We may not have a child ready to be matched within the parameters or location in which you were looking for. We do appreciate your patience. Please now that we are doing everything we can to find the right match for you.
Once a Big and a Little are matched, they are assigned a Match Support Specialist who will oversee and monitor the match for its duration. Our staff check in with mentors, the child and their parent once a month for the first year of the match, then quarterly after that. Our staff are always available as a resource, to guide and assist with any issues or difficulties, and to ensure that all parties are benefiting from the relationship. We are currently working to provide our Bigs with Youth Mental Health First Aid training courses free of charge in collaboration with the AMB West Philantropies.
Most matches do simple, everyday activities and often begin their match with outings conducive to talking. Bigs and Littles have lots to learn about each other. We stress 'no to low cost' activities that strengthen the relationship while building confidence and exposing the Little to new things. We offer "Two-for-One" cards from area businesses that offer discounts to matches. Many matches do community service activities together or play catch in the park, bake cookies, go bowling, take bike rides or walks, or just hang out. We do receive limited numbers of donated tickets throughout the year, which we offer to our matches on a first come, first serve basis.
Fill out the form or contact our office at 406-587-1216 (Bozeman) or 406.222.1930 (Livingston).
We do our best to enroll any child ages 5-15 who wants a mentor. Our services are always free and there are no economic or family structure qualifiers.
BBBS National Child Eligibility Criteria Profile: The main eligibility factor is any child who needs or wants an adult role model (Big) in his/her life.
A. At the time of enrollment, the child is between 5 and 15 years of age. Matches will end when the child reaches age 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.
B. The child resides in the agency service area.
C. The parent/guardian can commit to consistent contact with a Volunteer Big.
D. The child needs or wants a relationship with a Volunteer Big.
E. The child is cooperative and desires to participate in the program.
F. The child is capable of forming a meaningful relationship with a Volunteer Big.
G. The parent/guardian has been oriented to the program.
H. The parent/guardian is cooperative and desires to be supportive of the child/Volunteer Big relationship.
Factors of Ineligibility for a Child: If the following conditions exist or are imminent, the child will be considered ineligible.
A. The child demonstrates clear opposition to being paired with a Volunteer Big and/or does not agree to interact or work with a Volunteer Big.
B. The child's time with the Volunteer Big would disrupt time with other family members.
C. The parent/guardian or child displays problems so severe that services provided by BBBSGC would not benefit the child.
D. The child is mentally handicapped beyond educable mental retardation.
E. The child is physically handicapped to the point of being confined to the home or a facility.
F. The child has a unique situation that requires resources unavailable through BBBSGC services.
G. Non-primary parent objects to the child’s participation in the program.
We ask that parents commit to a partnership with the mentor to ensure the best relationship possible. We ask for an 18-month commitment from our Bigs, and we ask the same of parents. Our staff also check in with the Bigs, Littles and their parents once per month for the first year of the match (and quarterly after that) to ensure its success, so we ask parents to commit to this communication.
There are several reasons your child may be on our waitlist after either inquiring to be a 'Little' or after they have been enrolled. We receive a greater number of potential Big Sister inquiries than Big Brother inquiries, and so Little Brothers may wait a bit longer to be interviewed or matched. We may not have a Big ready to be matched within proximity to where you are located or with the same interests. We do appreciate your patience. Please know that we are doing everything we can to find the right mentor for your child.
Once a Big and a Little are matched, they are assigned a Match Support Specialist who will oversee and monitor the match for its duration. Our staff checks in with each 'Big', 'Little' and their parent once a month for the first year of the match, then quarterly after that. Our staff are always available as a resource to guide and assist with any issues or difficulties, and to ensure that all parties are benefiting from the relationship.