In the News

September 14, 2017 - Amid Budget Cuts, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County Level-Funded for FY2018

Contact Information:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County
David Beturne, Executive Director
(413) 781-4730

dbeturne@bigbrothers-sisters.org


Amid Budget Cuts, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County Level-Funded for FY2018

Mass Mentoring Partnership closes gap for Mentoring Matching Grant line item by $25,000

September 14, 2017

SPRINGFIELD – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County was spared a 5% cut from their FY18 Mentoring Matching Grant award last month. Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), a statewide organization fueling the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships across Massachusetts, used private funds to close a gap of the state’s final FY18 budget cutting the Mentoring Matching Grants from $500,000 to $475,000. Through the use of private operational funds, MMP was able to close the funding gap. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County is one of 32 mentoring programs throughout the Commonwealth to receive a Mentoring Matching Grant award for the FY2017-18 cycle.

Serving as the only state funding dedicated to mentoring, the Mentoring Matching Grants line item (7061-9634) is a competitive grant program designed to create and support mentoring matches. Over the last 17 years, this investment has supported over 10,000 mentor matches and has achieved many positive outcomes for youth, such as improved attitude towards school and classroom behavior, increases in self confidence, self efficacy and positive attitude about the future. With this funding, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County has been able to leverage matching funding from other sources to serve more youth in its one-to-one mentoring programs.

“Like most youth-serving organizations, the biggest hurdles we face are funding and the recruitment of volunteers,” explained David Beturne, Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County. “With additional funding, agencies like ours could recruit more volunteers, which would then allow us to match more Big Brothers and Big Sisters with the children on our waiting list. We appreciate Mass Mentoring Partnership’s efforts to increase awareness and access to resources.”

Mass Mentoring Partnership believes that every young person has the right to access high-quality developmental relationships, and it is the responsibility of stakeholders in communities across the Commonwealth to help meet the needs of youth. In this two-year grant cycle, Mass Mentoring Partnership will continue to build relationships with legislators in the House and the Senate to raise visibility on the importance of this funding.

“The state has cut critical funds to mentoring,” MMP President and CEO, Marty Martinez, said. “We had to step up to make sure that more youth do not end up on wait lists like the thousands of young people from Boston to the Berkshires who are already in need.”

To learn more about the Mentoring Matching Grants line item, please visit: massmentors.org/advocacy.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County
Since 1967, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County has provided one-to-one mentoring services to at-risk youth, primarily from single-parent, low-income families in Hampden County plus the towns of South Hadley and Granby. The non-profit agency is a full member agency of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, meeting the more than 150 required standards and procedures for full member status. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County is the area’s premier mentoring agency, providing consistently high-quality services with measurable impact. The agency celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2017. Learn more at www.bigbrothers-sisters.org.

About Mass Mentoring Partnership
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is fueling the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships to meet the needs of communities across Massachusetts. MMP serves more than 250 programs statewide supporting over 33,000 youth in quality relationships. We work with mentoring programs and youth development organizations to assess programmatic needs and organizational capacity to provide customized strategies that strengthen youth, families, and communities. www.massmentors.org

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