Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Inc. (Worcester, MA)

Name

  • Name:Mary Frandsen
  • Title:Development Officer/Grants Coordinator

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Inc.
  • Address:484 Main Street
    Suite 360
    Worcester, MA 01608
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:508-752-7868
  • Main fax:508-752-7316

Organization Web

User Email

Location

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General

  • Mission:
  • The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Inc. is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

  • Overview:
  • BBBS CM/MW supports at-risk children and youth through individualized mentoring programs that are professionally developed and supported. We reach the children who need us most through numerous strategic partnerships with local schools and youth development programs, and thanks to the support of hundreds of volunteers, many coming from local colleges and corporations. Weekly, volunteer mentors meet one-on-one with youth to help with homework, read a book, or go to a museum.

    We follow guidelines developed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America that originate from the book, Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, published by MENTOR, or the National Mentoring Partnership. Positive outcomes of mentoring are:

    Keeping children in school
    Helping children with homework which improves academic skills
    Helping improve a child’s self-esteem
    Decreasing the likelihood of a child using illegal drugs or alcohol
    Improving a child’s relationship and communication skills
    Setting career goals for the child and implementing the steps to get there

    BBBS CM/MW has two types of mentoring programs. In our Community-Based program, children are referred to us by a parent or guardian and meet with adult mentors at least one hour per week outside of a school or a club environment. Activities and schedules can be varied in this situation and the pair may go to a movie, sporting event, or take a walk in a park. The essential activity in these matches is the quality, uninterrupted time between a reliable, caring adult mentor and a child in need of one-to-one support. Twenty-five percent of our matches are part of our Community-Based Program.

    School/Site-Based Programs result in a mentor and child meeting during or after the school day. The children are referred to us by professionals active in a child’s life: teachers, guidance counselors, behavioral specialists, and others. At some programs, employees of a local corporate partner go to a nearby school for a "lunch buddies" meeting or an after school meeting once a week. Seventy-five percent of our matches are part of our School/Site-Based Programs.

    Our Community-Based Program operates year-round. The School/Site-Based Programs operate during the school year creating a busy time in the fall when our Interview/Match Support Specialists are matching mentors and mentees. The matching process includes interviews with children, parents, and volunteers. We complete a criminal background check on all potential volunteers. When a mentor/mentee pair is matched, it is a celebration of sorts. One of our program staff described it this way:

    It was very rewarding and I felt very happy and blessed to be part of the process of matching a child. Right after she came to me and said “Mr. Junior thanks so much for getting me my Big Sister, it’s a dream come true!” I will never forget those words, it really meant a lot to me personally.

    Once matched, the Interview/Match Support Specialists monitor the matches by talking to the mentor, mentee, and parents once a month. Once a year, both mentor and mentee complete surveys to evaluate the progress of the match. Research has shown that longer, stronger matches result in more positive outcomes for the mentee. The once a week meetings between mentor and mentee provide the consistency needed to build a strong relationship.
    From September 2014-August 2015, we served 1,630 children (ages 6-18) and adult volunteers. Of the children:

    • Gender: Female - 54%; Male-46%
    • Race/ethnicity: Hispanic–42%; Caucasian–25%; African American–14%; Multi-racial–11%; Other–5%; Asian-3%
    • Of those reporting, Living Situations: One parent household (female)–51%; Two-parent household-36%; One-parent household (male)–6%; Grandparents–3%; Other relative/unknown–2%; and Two-parent not married–1%
    • 82% of the children served were low-income as indicated by their qualification for free/reduced lunch programs
    • 17% of the children served have an adult significant in their lives incarcerated

    One component that makes our program so successful is the many partnerships we have created in Central Massachusetts with schools, corporations, and youth centers. Volunteers from College of the Holy Cross, Clark University, Assumption College, and other colleges join volunteers from corporations such as TJX, Unum, MathWorks, and Hanover Insurance Group to mentor at schools and youth service sites in Worcester including Elm Park Community School, Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls, Inc., and Great Brook Valley Area Neighborhood. Other mentoring sites include Marlborough Boys and Girls Club, Lilja Elementary School, Natick, and David Mindess Elementary, Ashland. Mentors from TJX Corporation actually see their mentees at their office building in Marlborough. Many of the corporations also support us with funding. Having thirty-five partnerships is invaluable when offering quality mentoring programs to at-risk children.

  • History:
  • For more than 50 years, BBBS of CM/MW has helped transform the lives of more than 30,000 children facing adversity. The agency was founded in the fall of 1963 as Big Brothers of Worcester County, initially serving seven boys by matching them in supportive mentoring relationships with community volunteers. In 1974, the agency extended services to include girls and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass. In 2004, we merged with Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Middlesex County to create Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Inc.

    We serve children in 40 communities in Central Massachusetts and Metrowest Boston. The communities in our service area are:

    Acton, Ashland, Auburn, Boxborough, Boylston, Charlton, Dover, Dudley, Framingham, Grafton, Holden, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Leicester, Marlborough, Maynard, Millbury, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Oxford, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Stow, Sturbridge, Sudbury, Sutton, Wayland, Webster, West Boylston, Westborough, Worcester.

    Over the last three years, BBBS CM/MW has undergone considerable organizational and staffing changes. Early in 2013, the Board of Directors hired Jeffrey Chin as Chief Executive Officer, replacing retiring long-time Executive Director, Ben Ticho. Mr. Chin, a licensed clinical social worker and successful non-profit administrator for over 22 years, has supervised programs involving thousands of children, families, and their support staff. With the help of Jay Vogt of Peoplesworth, Mr. Chin and the agency created a 3-year strategic plan focusing on four overarching goals: quality, impact, funding, and capacity. In an effort to achieve our goals, the organization has recently hired new staff. All of these activities represent an organization that is moving forward, growing and changing.

    BBBS CM/MW prides itself not only on the number of children and community volunteers matched and supported in mentoring relationships, but also the quality of these relationships. One measure of quality we use is Average Match Length (AML) in months. We consistently exceed the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America AML. In 2014, our agency received one of the 34 prestigious National Quality Awards, which recognize agencies within the mentoring network that exceed the national Big Brothers Big Sisters average performance for length of mentoring match relationship. The year of the award, children in our programs were matched with consistent, caring adult volunteers on average for 22.8 months compared to the national average of 15.7 months. . Research has shown that longer, stronger matches result in more positive outcomes for the mentee.

    In addition, our AML is increasing over time. In 2009, our AML was 16.1 months; now it is 23.7 months. Research conducted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Public Private Ventures, an independent research organization, has shown that children who spend 18 months with a mentor are more confident in their schoolwork performance, able to get along better with their families, 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, and 52% less likely to skip school when compared to their non-mentored peers.

    A statewide association and agency, Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), has recognized us as a Quality-Based Program Member Partner Agency. MMP promotes best practices and effective mentoring programs and being designated as a Partner Agency is representative of our performance in the following areas: provides a meaningful “indicator of quality” for youth mentoring programs, benchmarks program practices with national standards of excellence, and demonstrates program commitment to excellence to potential mentors, funders, parents, and community partners.

    BBBS CM/MW is proud to be a growing, changing, and award winning organization that partners with schools, corporations, local colleges, and funders to identify children who are living in poverty, come from single-parent households, or face other challenges, and place them in professionally developed and supported adult-child mentoring relationships.

  • Year established:1964
  • Endowment:Unknown

Staff

  • Executive / Trustee board size:15
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:14

Registration

  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID: