We're so glad you're interested in becoming a Big.  It's a fun, life-changing volunteer experience that gives the gift of your friendship. Here are answers to some common questions.

Who are the Bigs in the program?

Our Bigs come from diverse backgrounds just like our Littles. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or job skills. You just have to want to positively impact a young person. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit.

What are the requirements to become an adult Big?

Bigs must be:
-18 years or older. (Our current Bigs range from 18 to 70+)
-a high school graduate or hold a GED.
-have a valid driver's license and current automobile insurance (if mentoring in the Community Based Program).
-meet specific criminal history and automobile driving guidelines.

What are the requirements to become a High School Big?

HS Bigs must be:
-in their second semester of their freshman year of high school
- have transportation to meet their Little at their school or site.

What is your greatest need?

We would not be able to serve Littles without our Bigs! But we have a particular need for male mentors, especially men of color. Also, it costs approximately $2,000 a year to create and professionally support a match. In order to continue supporting our matches, and serving potential Littles on our waitlist, we need help reaching our financial goals.

What is your service area?

BBBS of Central MN serves Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Morrison, and the Northern tier of Wright counties.

What exactly is a mentor?

A mentor is an adult who, along with the child’s parents/guardian, provides young people with support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive example. Mentors are good listeners, people who care, people who want to help young people bring out strengths that are already there.

When can I see my Little?

If you're a community-based mentor, you'll decide together as a Big/Little team what you want to do and then you get approval from the Little’s parent/guardian. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and get together on a regular basis. The outings will also depend on the comfort level of your Little’s parents/guardian, your Little, and you.

If you're a part of one of our school- or site-based mentoring programs, you'll meet with your Little at their school once a week at the time that you determine is best for both of you after working with the Little, their parent/guardian, and teacher.

What are some good ideas for outings with my Little?

Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Go to the library, check out a book and read together. Buy a comic book to read together. Play a board game. Go on a nature walk. Hit a bucket of golf balls at the local driving range. Take a ride in the car with the radio on and talk about the music you like. You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most important: keep it simple and enjoy yourselves!

Can I bring my spouse, a friend, or a family member on outings?

In the beginning it’s most important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. However, over time it’s also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. Just keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others, your Little may begin to feel jealous or neglected. The main focus is the friendship you develop with your Little.
If you are wanting your family, spouse, or friend along on regular visits we have a Big Duo and Big Family option as well.

What kind of support can I expect from BBBS once I get matched?

Once you are matched with your Little, a Program Coordinator from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Any time you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Program Coordinator there to help. They’ll help you with ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations, and feedback on how you are making a difference.

Will I become a replacement parent?

No, Littles have a parent or guardian in their life already. What they need is a Big to spend quality, one-on-one time with them. Someone to have fun with, someone they can confide in, someone like you!

What are BBBS Initiatives?
  • Dr. Potter Bigs on Campus: We have Bigs on Campus initiatives at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud Technical & Community College, and the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. Thanks to partnerships with Spanier Bus Services, Trobec's Bus Service, and Voigt's Bus Service, middle and high school students from the St. Cloud Area School District and Sauk Rapids-Rice School District are bussed to campus twice a month over the lunch hour to meet with college alumni, faculty and staff, and local business professionals. Matches meet twice a month for an hour at a time and have time each month to hang out one-on-one as well as educational and future-focused activities such as finance, resumes, college applications, and more.
  • College & Career Readiness: Big Brothers Big Sisters provides activities for our youth to help prepare them for college and a career. This includes such activities as: scholarship opportunities, EPIC (Exploring Potential Interests & Careers) events, college visits, Paying for College Workshop, match activities in partnership with local colleges and employers, and more. These activities are open to all current and past Littles as well as High School Bigs.