September 2019

Hello Friends!

Happy New Year!! Yes, for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota our new year starts July 1. While we don’t have all of the pomp and circumstance as we welcome a new calendar year, we have a lot to celebrate in our 50 th year:
  • We had 204 new matches (55 more than last year, 5 year high)
  • We ended the year with 310 active matches (42 more than last year, 5 year high)
  • We had 472 Littles matched throughout the year (49 more than last year, 5 year high)
  • Our Quality Assurance Score ranged from 4.45 to 4.95 on a scale of 1-5 (2nd best in 5 years)
  • 395 youth participated in our Big Futures programming (college and career readiness)
  • We awarded 11 youth scholarships totaling $42,000 (two more youth and $14,000 more than last year)

While we do have much to celebrate, quite frankly we are never content knowing that we still have over 100 kids on our waiting list. As I write this, we are kicking off the new school year and focused on our goals for Year 2 of our 3-Year Strategic Plan.

Thank you for standing with us this past year and for your continued certainty that a mentor makes all the difference for a child. 

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director
Do you know someone who would make a great mentor?

We need YOUR help!!!

Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for adult mentors to serve in their Dr. Potter Bigs on Campus Mentoring Initiative, which serves local 6 th -10 th grade students by pairing them with a positive role model. The matches meet on the SCSU campus, every other Wednesday from 12:00pm-1:00pm, during the school year.

This program opens windows of opportunity for local youth by immersing them in the world of post-secondary education, helping them dream BIGGER, and navigating them on a positive path towards success. Please refer your friends/family/co-workers to or Email Robyn or call her at 320.258.4512.

Big For A Day is a fun opportunity for companies, classes and other organizations to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. Big For A Day is exactly what it sounds like! Adult volunteers from your company, class and/or organization get to be a Big for a day. This is a great way to learn more about mentoring and also a great way to help the kids in your community.

We have over 100 kids on our waiting list. These children don’t get the opportunities to experience the mentoring relationship that they desire. By giving a few hours of your time, you can provide a positive experience for these kids and for yourself. Do you and a group of co-workers/classmates/friends have an idea for an art project, game day, athletic event or any other activity? Take the next step and contact Shelby Hadley, Community Engagement Manager at or 320.258.4534.

Meet Sophie:
Sophie was only 7 years old when she was matched with her Big Sister, Jessy Vittum. Since that time, she has made strides individually and in her relationship with Jessy. Sophie is now 17 years old and has plans to go to college next year, most likely majoring in a human service field. Jessy has expressed how excited she is for Sophie to take her next step in life and has no doubt she will be successful. During their time together, they enjoy crafting, exploring new places, and grabbing a bite to eat. Their friendship is truly remarkable and will continue for many years to come.

Meet Eric:
Eric has been matched with his Big Brother, Chris Wieland, for the past four and a half years. Together, they enjoy going to sporting events, throwing a ball around, and going to the movies. Eric has overcome many obstacles and continues to grow as a person with each new stride. Eric’s mother has expressed great appreciation for Chris coming into his life and has seen many positive improvements over the years. Eric has plans of attending college once he graduates from high school next spring, and Chris has been very encouraging regarding Eric’s future.

Paula and McKenna are!

A Big welcome to our newest community-based match: Paula McCormick and McKenna! They plan on hitting the bike trail and having a picnic for their first outing!  As you are considering being a Big, check out our current list of new Matches.

We would also like to congratulate these Matches who are celebrating milestone anniversaries ! We ask all Bigs to commit to at least one year of mentorship- that one year of consistency makes a BIG difference in the life of a child.

Are you ready to defend the potential of a kid? They have all they need within them, they just need a mentor, an ally, to help them bring out their best. That sounds like you! You have everything you need to be a mentor as well, just because you care about kids.

Take the next step and email Shelby Hadley , Community Engagement Manager or call her at 320.258.4534. She will help you with the next steps or click here to sign up for an Info Session today!

This month’s Partner Spotlight goes to Capital One. Their support of our agency is a shining example of how a for profit business can engage on multiple levels with a local nonprofit.

At the board level, we are proud to partner with Capital One employee, Courtney Kunkel. Her service to BBBS goes above and beyond her board role, from serving beer at a Tap Takeover to personally calling individuals interested in attending an info session – proud to have her on the team!

At a funding level, working with the Capital One grant representatives who year to year allocate necessary operating funds to our agency, as well as, the Capital One Bowl for Kids’ Sake committee that organizes well over 100 employees to bowl and raise funds for our kids. This is a photo of Capital One employee and BFKS committee member, Jake Childers. When asked why he volunteers, Jake says “To support our local youth in any way I can to have a positive impact on those who need it most in our community!”

And lastly, at a BIG (volunteer mentor) level, seven Capital One employees are matched with Littles and personally embody the mission of BBBS. It has been such a pleasure to partner with them in defending the potential of kids in Central MN.