As you can imagine, a mentoring organization is all about partnerships and developing relationships with the community. At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest, we are lucky to have several colleges and corporations involved in our Site-based program, that are as passionate about staying involved in the community, as we are about welcoming new Bigs!
What is the Site-Based Program?
Our Site-based programs include our Worcester Area College Mentoring Program (WACMP) and corporate partners that are linked to specific schools in the area. In some sites, we may have the Big visit the Little at their school, or the Little visit the Big at their place of work/college. It is a fun experience for a match to get to visit the place where the Big and Little spend a lot of their time and share fun games and other activities!
What are our sites?
A cool fact about the region we serve is that it is home to many colleges and universities, and a variety of exciting companies ranging in technology to medicine and beyond. As part of the Worcester Area College Mentoring Program, we are partnered with five local colleges as part of our Site-Based program. Those colleges are Assumption College, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Nichols College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In addition, we partner with corporations that include TJX Companies, Hanover Insurance Group, iRobot, Unum, Intel, Acadia Insurance, MathWorks, and others. The schools that these sites are partnered with include elementary schools, middle schools, and local youth programs such as the Boys and Girls Club.
How do we find our Littles?
Through our relationship with local schools and youth programs, Littles are referred to us by a parent/guardian, teacher, or school administrator and are then invited to be interviewed. However, when interviewing the child, we always make sure that it is the child’s choice to be in the program to ensure a happy experience for both the child and the volunteer mentor.
How do we find our Bigs?
We love getting to know the college and corporations that we partner with for our Site-Based program. The best way to do so, is getting in front of the college students and employees to share our mission and encourage new Bigs to sign up. This may look like a “lunch and learn” presentation at one of the businesses or attending a college fair. All of our applicants undergo background checks, are interviewed, and receive training before being matched with their Little.
What are the requirements for being a Site-Based Big?
We ask our Bigs to commit to being matched for at least one year. However, matches can stay active until the Little graduates from their current school that is partnered with the Big’s site. This is one of the aspects that makes our site-based programs special, because many of our Bigs can experience the change in grades with their Little as they transition from, for example 2nd grade to 3rd grade, and so forth.
How often do site-based matches meet?
Similarly, to our Community-Based Program, site-based matches meet once a week. As all sites meet during school hours and work hours, match meetings can last between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the site. Another great opportunity for these matches, is after 6 months of being matched, they can transition into more of a Community-Based matched, called Site-Based Plus. A Site-Based Plus match meet during their regularly scheduled site visit times, plus once a month outside of their site doing whatever activity they choose!
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest we are grateful to have the support of community partners that value our mission and choose to partner with us to create long lasting mentoring relationships. If you are interested in having your organization become one of our sites, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to learn more about you and find ways to connect.
To learn about our Community-Mentoring Program, visit here.
Read our full Guide to Becoming a Big and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & Metrowest here.