As a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you have made a commitment to develop a trusting, supportive friendship with a child or youth. Mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a unique opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of a child or youth. It also comes with important responsibilities with regard to their safety and welfare.
"A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself"
- Oprah Winfrey
These resources are intended to complement the training and support you receive from program staff at your local agency. They provide guidance, information and tips to help ensure the safety and well-being of your Little Brother or Little Sister and contribute toward a healthy, committed and meaningful friendship for both you and your mentee. We encourage you to talk with your program staff about the issues and ideas raised in these resources.
Big Brothers Big Sisters programs vary significantly across Canada. You may be involved in a community-based match, an in-school program, or a group program. These volunteer training resources are relevant, regardless of the program in which you’re involved.
Resources and links will be added to this site periodically. Your feedback is always welcome, and you’ll find an evaluation form at the end of each subject area.
Though each module has a particular focus, certain themes and concepts that are central to mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters resonate throughout:
- Quality – Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to maintaining the highest service standards for the children and youth in our programs, and it’s important for mentors to embody this commitment.
- Trust – The foundation of every strong, healthy mentoring relationship is the development of trust between the mentor, the young person, the parent/guardian, and agency staff.
- Commitment & Consistency – Providing a stable, consistent presence in the life of your mentee is vital to a strong and successful mentoring relationship.
- Diversity – Volunteers, mentees, parents/guardians and agency staff embody a wide variety of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We encourage every participant in a mentoring relationship to respect, explore and celebrate your similarities and differences.
- Appreciation & Support – Thank you for volunteering! Agency staff appreciate your commitment. They are your first point of contact for questions, concerns and help with any issues that arise. They’ll guide and support you, and celebrate successes with you as well!
The resources vary in length. Take your time, touch base with your program staff, and please take a few minutes to provide feedback and suggestions.