School-Based Program Portal

For High School BIGS

Everything you need to BE or to SUPPORT a High School BIG is HERE!

Our School-Based Program places qualified High School Junior and Senior BIGS with LITTLES in both middle and elementary schools as mentors. The Bigs meet their Littles at school to help them develop their full potential.

Our MISSION is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Our VISION is that all youth achieve their full potential.

Laurel School-Based Program Information

  • Bigs receive .5 credits/semester enrolled in the course
  • The course will serve as an elective – taking the place of one class period per semester
  • Bigs are matched with with two Littles at West, Graff, and/or Laurel Middle School to meet with Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
  • On Wednesdays, Bigs meet as a class in the auditorium led by the school-program specialist to cover best mentoring practices, trauma informed care, and to complete monthly match support surveys about the progress of matches.
  • Bigs receive graded assignments and attendance, and receive a final grade at the end of the semester

What does it take to be a Big?

  • Must be entering your junior or senior year at Laurel High School
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Good attendance record
  • Full year commitment and space in schedule

Application Information

  • See the application checklist for the required elements of the application
  • Completed Applications are due by March 31st to be considered with the first round of applicants
  • After March 31st, Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class has reached capacity (through add/drop period in the fall).
  • Applicants will be contacted to set up an interview in March or April
  • Bigs who have been accepted will receive notification in May/June

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to be able to take the class the entire year?

Matches are the most successful and have the greatest impact on both parties when you are able to stay matched for at least one full school year. So, ideally all of our high school Bigs can commit to being a Big for the full school year. However, we understand that things happen! If plans change and you aren’t able to take the class the second semester, we have a process that can close your matches prematurely.  If you already know that you can only take the course one semester, you are still encouraged to apply! Depending on our applicant pool, we may be able to accept you.

 

  1. Can I apply if my GPA is lower than 2.5?

If your GPA is below 2.5 and you believe that it is not a fair judgment of your commitment to school or your abilities to serve as a Big, then you are welcome to still apply. We will discuss your GPA in your interview to determine if an exception may be made.

 

  1. How do you choose who to match the Bigs with?

We gather important information about our Bigs and Littles in our extensive application and interview processes, and the school program specialist analyzes this information to determine the matches to be made. Factors that are considered are interests, personalities, temperaments, what a little needs help with, and preferences from both parties.

 

  1. When do we find out who our Littles are?

If you are accepted into the program, the first two weeks of the fall semester will be spent in orientation where we will cover the Bigs Handbooks which contains the rules and guidelines/confidentiality policy, common problems and roadblocks that Bigs encounter, child development information, and classes on trauma informed care. The school program specialist will be making tentative matches during this period. During one of the last days of orientation, your matches will be presented to you in class, and you may either accept or decline them. Once orientation is over, you will begin seeing your Littles.

 

  1. Can we hang out with our Littles outside of school?

No. Our policies do not permit Big/Little relationships outside of the school setting. Bigs and Littles may not exchange phone numbers or addresses, or “friend” or “follow” on any form of social media. Occasionally Bigs and Littles will keep in touch once their match has closed with BBBS.

 

  1. Is there any homework for this class?

The workload for the Bigs course varies from year to year. Each year, there will be monthly match support assignments that are generally completed during class time, and several surveys throughout the year to be completed for the national office of BBBS. The school program specialist will likely assign quarterly projects and journals on top of these assignments. Projects generally include volunteer opportunities through BBBS and more academic options.

 

  1. How do Bigs get to/from their Littles’ schools?

During our application process, we ask which Bigs have access to a car to drive themselves to their Little’s school each day. The school program specialist considers this when matching to ensure that Bigs without access to a car can carpool with a classmate who is going to the same school. Students also have the option to opt to be matched with a Little at Graff so that they may walk.

Please direct any additional questions to our School Program Coordinator, Rachel Hill, at rachelh@bbbsyc.org.