A New Start for Youth Mentorship in Westchester County
The Westchester chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has announced that it has spun off to become its own entity from Family Services of Westchester (FSW), the social service agency that has sponsored it for the past 64 years. Effective immediately, BBBS is an independent 501(c)(3) agency officially named Big Brothers Big Sisters of Westchester County, Inc. The regional chapter of the federation of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America will now be headquartered at 10 Midland Avenue in Port Chester.
“This is the logical next step in the evolution of our mission to help the youth of Westchester and Putnam counties achieve their full potential,” said Valerie Brown, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Westchester County, Inc. “We are extremely excited about increasing our powerful programs and overall presence in our community during 2022 and beyond.”
“As this transformation takes place, Family Services of Westchester will continue to refer children in need of mentors to our organization, as we will continue to refer our families to FSW for much needed ancillary services,” adds Brown. “We have built a strong support network with them these past six decades and that’s something that will not change for our children and families, who can expect the same conscientious level of care and collaboration in all of our programs.”
Independence from FSW will allow BBBS of Westchester to expand its mission to serve more children in need and attract more volunteers within broader geographic and programmatic areas. Brown notes that organizational independence from FSW will also help streamline the BBBS grant application process, reduce intra-agency competition for various capital supply and allow the new chapter to participate in, and benefit from, national BBBS fundraising initiatives.
Current key initiatives of BBBS of Westchester County include: Community-Based Mentoring, where children between the ages of 7 and 17 (Littles), who are facing adversity, are matched with adult role models, ages 21 or older (Bigs) to spend 4-6 hours of time together during 2 scheduled low or no-cost outings per month; Site-Based Mentoring, in which Littles enjoy structured activities with their Bigs, including homework help, art projects, games, career exploration, and one-on-one quality time; Waitlist Events – fun, monthly group events like bingo and bowling designed for children who are waiting to be matched with an adult mentor; Big Futures College and Vocational Training that provides educational guidance to help Littles graduate from high school and earn scholarships to colleges or post-secondary vocational programs; Virtual Tutor, a two-hour-per-week commitment during the school year helping a child with his or her studies and homework.
A ceremonial Open House Ribbon Cutting event in the new office space is targeted for early spring and as always, the organization’s Annual Appeal will occur in February.
Visit www.bigswestchester.org for more information.