Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff’s (BBBSF) Mission is, “To help children succeed by matching them with appropriate adult mentors.”, and our Vision is, “To provide a Big Brother or Big Sister relationship to any child who needs or wants one.”
BBBSF matches positive adult role models (Bigs) with children between the ages of 7-17 (Littles). Through professionally supported group and individual mentoring sessions, BBBSF develops the confidence, competence and caring of youth in Flagstaff, Arizona. Currently, BBBSF has three mentoring programs: Community Based Mentoring (CBM) where matches participate activities in the community, School Based Mentoring (SBM) where elementary aged Littles participate in facilitated group and one-on-one sessions in 4 elementary schools in Flagstaff and one in Williams, AZ, Step Up Mentoring provides group mentoring services for at-risk youth that are incarcerated or on probation. Last fiscal year, BBBSF served 818 youth and volunteers across four mentoring programs.
In the Flagstaff and Williams areas, children and youth who lack positive role models and positive community connections are at a greater risk than their peers of engaging in negative behaviors, performing poorly in school, dropping out of school, and becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. Surveys completed by teens in detention at Coconino County Juvenile Court Services indicate that only 28% receive support from three or more non-parent adults, and only 17% report that parents and other adults modeled positive behavior.
In the 2013 Coconino County Education Report, poverty remains a significant issue, especially for families with children. More than one in four (28%) children ages 5-17 are living below the poverty threshold in the county. The number of children coming from low income households is significant in Flagstaff and 80% of the families BBBSF serves are below the Federal poverty rate. Flagstaff Unified School District reports that there are approximately 13,000 children eligible for free or reduced lunch in their schools. These numbers clearly show that the need for mentoring is great.
BBBSF's programs empower youth to become productive and engaged members of the community and to succeed personally, academically, and socially. BBBSF is an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), a model Blueprints program for violence prevention, and we follow all of BBBSA's standard mentoring practices. BBBSF has received numerous recognitions and awards over the years. Most recently, BBBSF was awarded the Best Nonprofit Serving Youth in Flagstaff by the Arizona Daily Sun (2010). Other awards/recognitions include two Daily Point of Light Awards (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush), Exemplary Effort Award (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America), Organization of Year (Arizona Daily Sun), and Official Partner Provider (AZ 2-1-1, Governor Janet Napolitano).