It Starts With a Little

 Since 1966, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County has been changing children's lives by matching them with caring adults to guide them on a path to success.

Millions of children need a caring adult role model.


When children and teens have the influence of a caring adult, they are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and to focus on academics. Today's youth face a variety of challenges, and being matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister can help them navigate these challenges and reach their potential.

How does Big Brothers Big Sisters help Kasaius?

Matching

When Big Brothers Big Sisters works to match a Little with a Big, we take into account the needs, personality, interests, and goals of both the child and the adult volunteer. We introduce the Little and his or her family to the Big slowly and make sure everyone is fully committed to the match before it is made official. Little Brother Kasaius is outgoing and up for anything, so he needed a Big who was creative and had a variety of interests.

Relationship Management

Children like Kasaius get the most out of their one-to-one relationship with their Big when the Big, the parent or guardian, and the child talk openly with their Match Support Specialist. Working as part of the team helping the child succeed, the Match Support Specialist can help identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and connect the family with essential services.

Activities

When Kasaius’ Big Brother saw the email from BBBS saying that there were spots open in a free acting class, he jumped at the chance to take Kasaius. BBBS affiliates across the country provide activities for Bigs and Littles and also alert Bigs to opportunities in the community. This enables Bigs to get to know other Bigs, who might be experiencing similar things and who might have great suggestions for more new activities.

Screening and Training

Child safety is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest priority. To achieve the highest standards possible, we work constantly to review and strengthen our background check systems as new best practices in the industry emerge. We also make sure our Bigs and our staff have the training and resources they need to help Littles on their path to success.

Coming Soon

 Big Brothers Big Sister's Dream BIG Gala is the biggest night of the year. Please join us for a night of inspiring stories! We are excited to announce our guest speaker is three time Olympic Gold Medalist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Be a Big.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a Big? Or thought about becoming a Big but you're worried about the "time commitment"? Watch this video and hear about what our Bigs do and what they think of being in a Match. 

8 Ways to Keep your Child or Little Engaged

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County takes pride in preparing mentors to have a “Big” impact on the children they mentor. Now that children are out of school for…

A Big Becomes a Third “Gilmore Girl”

Little Sister Mykayla’s mom wanted to have a relationship with her daughter like Rory and Lorelai from “Gilmore Girls.” The mom and daughter were already so close in age that they were best friends, but throughout Mykayla’s childhood, her mother was sick. She was diagnosed with cancer when Mykayla was just a toddler, and she dealt with other severe illnesses and injuries. Mykayla’s mom enrolled Mykayla as a Little Sister when she was 10 years old. She wanted her daughter to have someone to talk to besides her, someone to be a role model. What she got was all that and more in Big Sister Shannon.

The ‘Tika’ Seals That They are Brothers

After more than 10 years in a refugee camp, Little Brother Ashis’ parents got to the United States and immediately wanted to give their son opportunities and a bright future. They enrolled Ashis as a Little through BBBS of Utah, and he was soon matched with Big Brother Paul. The match was exactly what they were looking for. “Paul’s influence has made Ashis want to achieve more,” Ashis’ parents say. “Ashis now has goals, in school and in basketball.”

Nothing wrong with being a little lost

When Little Sister Esmeralda learned she was failing the third grade, she turned to her Big Sister for help. When they first started reading together, she could barely read the menu. When she pulled the fortune from a fortune cookie and began to read it aloud to Chelsea, she stopped in the middle because she got to a word she didn’t know, too embarrassed to keep trying. Together, they began working on Esmeralda’s reading and building her confidence. After a year of reading books each time they met, Esmeralda passed third grade.

Little’s grades and spirits climb with support from Big

At their first match meeting, Big Brother Harrison and Little Brother Michael’s match support specialist and Michael’s mom left them alone to get to know one another. “We played basketball and talked for what must have been two hours,” Harrison says. “It got to the point that [Michael’s mom] said she would go home and I could drop him off when we got done, since we were having so much fun.” The fun and connection haven’t stopped for almost four years.