Big Buddies is a community-based youth development program that works with youth, ages 5-18, nurturing personal growth, developing community, supporting, inspiring, and guiding them toward a future of unlimited opportunity.
Big Buddies provides tools and opportunities in the form of mentors, academic tutors and learning activities to help youth navigate the challenges of growing up healthy, safe, and prepared for success by offering programming focused on:
How the Big Buddies Program Works
Matched with positive caring adult volunteers in a variety of settings, youth in the Big Buddies program are provided with support, inspiration, and guidance that helps them improve academically, avoid participating in risky behaviors and violence, and equipped to succeed.
Individual weekly mentoring and monthly group activities incorporate Big Buddies’ “Helping Hands of Mentoring” program that focuses on: enhancing self-esteem; respecting all people and our surroundings; appropriate decision making; helping others; and expanding horizons. Big Buddies help youth grow up healthy and safe; equipped for college, work, or military service; prepared for marriage, family, and parenting; and active participants in community service and civic engagement.Interested in Becoming a Big Buddy Know Someone Who Should Be a Little Buddy
Big Buddies believes that every young person should have the opportunity to:
- Discover interests and assets
- Develop skills and confidence necessary to make effective and appropriate choices
- Have access to resources and learning
- Graduate from high school
- Pursue higher education
- Find and keep a meaningful job
- Own a home
- Develop a sense of purpose and mission for their lives
The History of Big Buddies
Big Buddies first started providing mentoring services in 1989 when a group of concerned parents and grandparents wanted to find a way to provide the opportunity for mentoring to children in need. Today our goals have evolved to encourage youth to build skills and forge productive relationships with family, peers, and community; to develop social competencies and positive values; and to form an optimistic sense of themselves and their future.
What has become clear over the 27 years that Big Buddies has been helping youth, is that in order for youth to navigate successfully from childhood to adulthood, they need access during their school years to productive, challenging, and positive out-of-school-time activities designed and staffed by caring adults who are trained in and committed to the most effective ways of helping youth grow into healthy adults.
Big Buddies is pleased to be among the most successful youth mentoring programs in Southern Minnesota helping youth to be equipped for a future of unlimited opportunities and success.