At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every young person should have the opportunity to reach their full potential and that by doing so they will not only do well, they will also do good.
We know that by changing the course of young lives we in turn change the course of our community’s future, leading to a reduction in poverty and unemployment, to safer schools and neighbourhoods and to a renewed optimism for growth. It can even lead to change on a broader, more far-reaching scale.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a simple concept with BIG results. It’s friendship, guidance, support and good times. It’s a relationship between a caring individual and a young person resulting in the provision of support, friendship, and constructive role modeling over time.
All it takes is one caring individual who is willing to build a connection with a young person who could use a role model in their life. While few of us thought of them as ‘mentors’, nearly everyone can look back and remember a special person – a coach, a teacher, a neighbour, a first boss – whose belief in us made our lives a little better, our dreams a little brighter and our path a little easier.
The Impact of Mentoring
In a five year study, completed by Dr. David Dewit on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, the experience of 1,000 children and youth enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs across Canada found:
- Girls with a Big Sister are two and a half times more likely than girls without a mentor to be confident in their ability to be successful at school.
- Boys with a Big Brother are three times less likely than boys without a mentor to suffer peer pressure related anxiety, such as worrying about what other children think or say about them.
- Mentored boys are two times more likely to believe that school is fun and that doing well academically is important.
- Mentored boys are also two times less likely than non-mentored boys to develop negative conducts like bullying, fighting, lying, cheating, or losing their temper.
Social Return on Investment
SROI measures an organization’s added value by calculating the social, environmental and economic benefits it creates for society.
BBBS Canada commissioned a study by the The Boston Consulting Group to measure the financial return to society from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The results showed that Big Brothers Big Sisters generates an average social return on investment of $18 for every $1 invested. The study also found:
- 63% have post-secondary education
- 68% reported being employed full-time and were significantly more likely to have higher salaries
- 66% volunteer in their communities
- 92% feel confident and 96% say they’re happy
- 80% reported pursuing a healthy lifestyle