Dear Friends of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona,
Our agency celebrated another incredibly successful year and saw the positive impact our volunteers had on more than 1,500 youth through its proven one-to-one mentoring model. While our agency has been in the valley for more than 63 years and mentoring is not a new concept, it is still very relevant and continues to be at the forefront of many community dialogues as a solution to many of today’s societal concerns. In fact, according to a recent study of BBBS programming by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, for every $1.00 invested in BBBS, there is a $3.28 economic benefit. This includes improved educational outcomes, reduced in-school absences related to truancy, reduced violence and crime, and lower rates of incarceration. Now that is something to be proud of!
As a national organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters is constantly involved with research and studies that prove over and over again, that having a consistent relationship with an adult mentor, makes a difference in a young person’s life. Through the tireless efforts of our leadership team, board members, staff, and volunteers, we were able to meet all our goals, which includes raising more than $2.4 million and supporting more than 1,500 volunteers and children. That makes Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona one of the largest BBBS agencies in the country.
Our agency has also been involved in a program called ATLAS for the last 18 months, thanks to the support of the Virginia G Piper Charitable Trust. Through this program, our staff, with the help of a Piper funded consultant, spent hours analyzing our program and processes and came up with a plan as to how we could improve efficiencies and volunteer processes in order to become more resilient during times of financial uncertainty. This program allowed us to update our technology, train our staff and focus on volunteer customer service and retention.
While our vision is to help every child achieve success, we also want to celebrate all the milestones it takes to get there. This year we developed our Big Futures program. This program works with our High School Littles starting from when they first enter high school as a freshman until they graduate. Each grade level has its own cohort that focuses on specific challenges that the kids might face during this stage of their lives. This is just another way to ensure we can support our kids and their mentors to help them achieve success.
We created a new position that focuses on providing support services to alleviate some of the hardships that our families face, while also providing education and training for parents, Bigs and Littles. With a Director of Community Resources on staff, our Case Managers are able to focus more on the success of the match, rather than the individual challenges facing the families we serve. Since this position has been created, we have been able to positively impact 145 Littles by providing valuable resources for their families.
We are very proud of our past, but also very excited about the future. As we continue to discuss our changing world and what we need to go through our organization to offer better support and training to our volunteers in order for them to help our most vulnerable children. As a supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, you have been part of our journey. At our recent Pitch in for Kids Event, I quoted the legendary baseball icon, Jackie Robinson when he said: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives“. So thank you for the impact you all have on the lives of the children in our community. It is our continued hope that you are fulfilled in knowing the difference you are making in our community!