What is Site Based mentoring?
Site Based mentoring has the same objective as Community Based Mentoring: to empower and support young people. The key aspect of Site Based mentoring is that it occurs at a specific place and time, usually at a school, workplace, or after-school program.
BBBSMA hosts 2 types of Site Based mentoring programs, in addition to its Community Based program.
Corporate & Collegiate Partners
Who are the Littles in the Site Based Program?
The Littles in our program come from a variety of backgrounds, having many different interests, and each benefitting from the support of one additional caring adult in their lives. We partner with local schools to engage students from grades 3-12, depending on the program. We work closely with school counselors, teachers, and parents from our partner schools who know their students best to invite them to enroll in our program.
Who are the Bigs in the Site Based Program?
We establish partnerships with corporations, businesses, and universities in our community to recruit professional and college student volunteers. Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you, no special mentoring degree required. The Site Based program is a great option for volunteers who have a passion for mentoring and whose companies value service during the workday but who may have less flexibility on the weekends.
How have you adapted to COVID-19?
The concerns and changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have pushed us to think creatively. As a result, we’ve transformed our Site Based mentoring programs to be completely virtual for the 2020-2021 school year. Regardless of the shift in program delivery, every participant can expect the same level of quality support in their match.
What is required to be a Big in the Site Based Program?
In order to apply to be a Big, you must be over the age of 18 and able to commit to meeting with your Little consistently for at least one year. We also ask that you:
- have access to reliable transportation
- plan to work at your current company and/or attend the same college for at least 1 year
- consent to a criminal background check
- be drug-free
- live or work near our partner schools
How will I be matched with a Little?
Your volunteer interview is a critical part to helping us get to know you, your background, your preferences for your volunteer experience as well as the program best suited for you. Factors that go into the matching process include: personalities, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background, and location. When we find a Little who will be a good fit, we will call with information about the child, but the final decision is yours to decide if you think the child would be the best fit for you. BBBSMA creates one-to-one matches, which means that each Big has one Little, allowing for real connection to be built between each participant.
Does it cost anything?
The quality of the time you invest with your Little is more important than the amount of money you spend. Our programs are free for both Bigs and Littles.
Do families and students want to be in the program?
Yes! Parents and guardians fill out an application for their child to be in the program, but buy-in from the child is just as important. A child who is adamant about not wanting to be in the program will not be forced to do so. A healthy partnership between the parent or guardian with the Big is the secret ingredient to keeping a match strong!
What kind of support can I expect from Big Brothers Big Sisters?
We know our volunteers are not trained experts in working with youth so you have a team of experts from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta to provide training, support, and helpful advice as needed. Once you are matched with your Little, a Site Coordinator from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Site Coordinator there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback.
What if it doesn’t work out?
We do everything in our power to make a match that we think will last. However, we realize that sometimes things come up, Bigs or Littles move, situations change or something doesn’t work out. We will attempt to mediate the situation, but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the match. If this happens, your Site Coordinator will be there to support you every step of the way and handle it in the best way possible.
How do I know if my company or school is one of BBBSMA’s partners?
BBBSMA is always seeking to grow our community footprint by connecting with more partners. Our current list of schools and companies is below.
If you don’t see your company or school name on the list but are interested in learning more about pursuing a partnership, click here to email Site Based Program Manager, Megan Arthur.
Corporate and Collegiate Partners (Bigs)
- Cox Enterprises
- Genuine Parts Company
- Imagine Media Consulting
- Georgia State University
School Partners (Littles)
- Chamblee Charter High School
- Argyle Elementary School
- Brumby Elementary School
- MLK Middle School
- Sutton Middle School, a Communities in Schools school
- Thomasville Heights Elementary School, a Purpose Built School
- Price Middle School, a Purpose Built School