Big impact—proven results

We’ve always known we were making a positive impact on children and empowering them to succeed. A nationwide study confirmed it for us.

Our Impact

Each time Big Brothers Big Sisters pairs a child with a role model, we start something incredible: a one-to-one relationship built on trust and friendship that can blossom into a future of unlimited potential.
And thanks to the first-ever nationwide impact study of a mentoring organization, we have the facts to prove it.

Parents Wanted

You know what’s best for your child. So we’ll need your help from the start, providing information about your child’s strengths and needs, and ultimately approving the Big Brother or Big Sister match. But your role doesn’t end there.

The Results

Researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters, compared to those children not in our program, were:

- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip a class
- 33% less likely to hit someone

They also found that the Littles were more confident of their performance in schoolwork and getting along better with their families.

“We have known all along that Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring has a long-lasting, positive effect on children’s confidence, grades, and social skills,” affirms Karen J. Mathis, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s President and CEO, “and the results of this impact study scientifically confirm that belief.”

“These dramatic findings are very good news, particularly at a time when many people contend that ‘nothing works’ in reaching teenagers,” said Gary Walker, then-President of Public/Private Ventures. “This program suggests a strategy the country can build on to make a difference, especially for youth in single-parent families.”

Ready to enroll your child?

For more information about enrolling a child, please contact Cindy Colangione, Director of Program Services, at  or (413)781-4730 x 116

Could your little one use a Big?

It all starts with the right role models. And Big Brothers Big Sisters is the place to start a relationship with one. For over 100 years, due in large part to private donations, we’ve been able to recruit, screen, match and support mentoring relationships that have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across the country — one Little at a time.

You’ll feel the impact as much as your child.

A study for Big Brothers Big Sisters found that kids matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister:

- are more confident
- are more likely to steer clear of drugs and alcohol
- do better in school
- get along better with their family and friends
- feel better about themselves

Safety from the start

Your child's safety is extremely important to us. Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts a thorough background check on every volunteer in our program, and every relationship is closely monitored and supported by a professionally trained match coordinator.

The Study

Public/Private Ventures, an independent Philadelphia-based national research organization, looked at over 950 boys and girls from eight Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country selected for their large size and geographic diversity. This study, conducted in 1994 and 1995, is widely considered to be foundational to the mentoring field in general and to Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based program in particular.

Approximately half of the children were randomly chosen to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister. The others were assigned to a waiting list. The matched children met with their Big Brothers or Big Sisters about three times a month for an average of one year.

Researchers surveyed both the matched and unmatched children, and their parents on two occasions: when they first applied for a Big Brother or Big Sister, and again 18 months later.