In these posts I have discussed the goals of Big Brothers Big Sisters, my personal experiences with my Little, the strengths of the program, and my recent experiences with the program during COVID-19. I would like to spend this post talking about the overall impact Big Brothers Big Sisters has had in the United States.
The most basic statistic that I have come across to demonstrate the impact of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is that 145,429 Littles were served in 2018. While this is the most recent statistic available at the moment, I am certain the number increased in 2019 and will do so again in 2020. While this number is impressive, a Big Little match does not necessarily ensure a change in the Little’s behavior. However, when looking further into the statistics for 2018, I found that Littles who were matched for at least 18 months were 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs than students who were not involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Not only does the relationship between Bigs and Littles increase a Little’s social, emotional and learning skills, but it also greatly impacted the lives of Bigs. I have talked previously about the things I have learned from Big Brothers Big Sisters but I want to now point out that matches have been increasing in length since at least 2009. In a recent report released by BBBS of America, Bigs involved in school based programs are maintaining their relationship for an average of 6 months longer than they were in 2009.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization that has greatly impacted my life and my desire to serve students. After about 18 months with my Little, I have decided to pursue a career in Education Policy, Research or Advocacy. While I do not know what job I will have when I graduate, I hope that I will be able to continue my relationship with my Little or start a new one if my job takes me to new places.