Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Inc.

Together, We Are Defenders Of Potential

Venice, FL   |  www.bbbssun.org

Mission

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast's mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Ruling year info

1978

CEO / President

Ms. Joy Mahler

Main address

1000 S. Tamiami Trail Suite C

Venice, FL 34285 USA

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Formerly known as

Big Brothers of Venice

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Sarasota County

EIN

59-1361826

NTEE code info

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (O31)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BBBSSC’s One to One Mentoring Program meets an important educational need for local youth. Most of the youth served live in poverty. Many have lost one or both parents and/or exhibit high-risk behavior and low self-esteem. All have significant life challenges and barriers to opportunities. Academic failure is a significant problem for this population. When underprivileged students are provided BBBSSC's professionally supported one-to-one mentoring services, they are afforded the opportunities they deserve to succeed academically, behaviorally, and socially. Science shows that children who do well despite serious hardship have had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult. These relationships buffer children from developmental disruption and help them develop “resilience,” or the set of skills needed to respond to adversity and thrive (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2015).

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

One to One Mentoring Program

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast's (BBBSSC) One to One Mentoring Program is the only evidence-based, research-driven, one-to-one mentoring program for 5-21 year-old at-risk youth in its 10-county service area (although up to 5 counties were available for selection below, BBBSSC's footprint consists of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties). The youth and mentor participate in the One to One Mentoring Program as either a community-based match (meeting in the community at large – such as at a park or library) or a site-based match (meetings take place at specified supervised locations only, typically schools or afterschool programs). All volunteer mentors are thoroughly screened, interviewed, trained, and assessed prior to matching. Match relationships are created according to the National Big Brothers Big Sisters model of compatibility matching, which prioritizes match-making based on the needs, skills, and interests of the individual youth and mentor.

The Agency's Degreed and Certified Mentor Managers maintain regular contact with the mentor, youth, youth’s parent/guardian, and school personnel. Mentor Managers design a personalized Youth Development Plan for each youth, and they track and evaluate both maintenance and improvement in academic achievement.

The Agency’s One to One Mentoring Program’s services include the following:
• Recruitment of volunteers from local businesses, community organizations and clubs, and churches
• Completion of a thorough enrollment process for all volunteer mentors, including a background screening, in-depth interview and assessment, and training in the areas of child safety and effective mentoring practices
• Outreach to local schools, juvenile justice agencies, and youth organizations to facilitate youth referrals to the program
• Completion of a thorough enrollment process for all youth, including an in-depth interview with the youth, parent/guardian, and school personnel
• Creation of individualized Youth Development Plans by the Agency’s Mentor Managers for each youth in the program
• Ongoing match support contacts by Mentor Managers to ensure that mentored youth are achieving their goals and match relationships are thriving
• Regularly scheduled youth progress evaluations by Mentor Managers
• Annual program outcomes and youth progress assessments are made available to all stakeholders at the end of each fiscal year

Within the umbrella of the One to One Mentoring Program, BBBSSC developed initiatives to target the specialized needs of the Agency’s clients and to develop a continuum of educational mentoring services. They include the following:
- Reading Bigs, fostering a love of literature and aiding in the development of grade-level reading skills for students at risk of failing Florida’s standardized reading tests
- Gateway to Success, supporting students as they transition from middle to high school
- Decisions to Win, a dropout prevention program that helps high school students achieve grade level promotion and graduation
- Sports Buddies, providing opportunities for youth to experience free and low-cost sporting and recreational events with their mentors
- Juvenile Justice Mentoring, specializing in prevention and early intervention for youth who are at high risk of entering the juvenile justice system, or who are already involved in the juvenile justice system
- Beyond School Walls, providing high school students a hands-on opportunity to experience what it means to work in a business setting

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

Received Charity Navigator's highest four-star rating for sound fiscal management 2019

100% program and financial audit compliance with the Florida Department of Education 2020

Awards

National Board of the Year 2019

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

National Agency of the Year 2019

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2018)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percent of students that improve or maintain satisfactory academic achievement

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

BBBSSC's mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. The Agency offers the only evidence-based, research-driven, one-to-one mentoring program for 5-21 year-old at-risk youth in the 10-county area it serves: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties. BBBSSC serves youth ages 5 through 21 with a demonstrated need and desire for additional adult support. Enrolled youth over the age of 18 are either in high school or they participate in the Agency’s Big Futures program (described below). Typically, youth enrolled in BBBSSC’s One-to-One Mentoring Program face several challenges, as follows:

• Poverty or economic disadvantage
• Poor academic progress as defined by the student’s school district
• Abandonment, death, or incarceration of one or both parents
• Equity barriers--racial, ethnic, LGBTQ, economic, language, disability, educational, etc.
• High risk behavior (i.e., truancy, school suspension, illegal substance abuse, delinquency, etc.)
• Teen pregnancy
• Difficulty maintaining stable relationships (i.e., socially isolated, rejected by peer group, feels alienated by family or teachers, etc.)

Within the umbrella of the One to One Mentoring Program are several initiatives BBBSSC designed to meet the needs of at-risk youth: Reading Bigs, fostering a love of literature and aiding in the development of grade-level reading skills for students at risk of failing Florida’s standardized reading tests; Gateway to Success (GTS), supporting 8th-9th grade students as they transition from middle to high school; Decisions to Win (DTW), helping 10th-12th grade students achieve grade level promotion and graduation; Juvenile Justice Mentoring Initiative (JJMI), specializing in prevention and early intervention for youth who are at high risk of entering the juvenile justice system or who are already in the system; Beyond School Walls (BSW), providing high school students the hands-on opportunity to experience what it means to work in a business setting; and Big Futures, filling a service gap for older at-risk youth as they reach young adulthood. Big Futures affords continued guidance to the high school youth BBBSSC currently serves until they reach age 21, and thereby places these youth on a career pathway to sustainable independence. This continuum of educational mentoring services positively impacts the futures of at-risk youth and the economic health of the local community. By supporting disadvantaged youth through high school graduation and guiding them toward--and during--higher education or a career that fosters financial independence, a solid foundation is established for a productive and secure financial future.

The major elements of the One to One Mentoring Program include the following:

- recruitment of reliable volunteer mentors from local businesses, professional associations, clubs, and churches, followed by background screening and training;
- referrals of at-risk youth from schools and youth services agencies, as well as agency promotion;
- youth and mentors are interviewed, assessed, and matched based on their compatibility and needs;
- regularly-scheduled mentoring;
- collaboration with local cultural, educational, recreational, and sports facilities, resulting in free or low-cost activities for matches;
- match oversight by a Degreed and Certified Mentor Manager who continually works with the youth, parent/guardian, and mentor, focusing on child safety and support;
- progress is measured through direct interaction with match parties and relevant school personnel, report cards, and pre/post test measurement tools.

The One to One Mentoring Program contributes to positive youth development by providing at-risk youth with mentors who help them to remain in school and make academic progress, avoid risky behaviors, maintain and develop positive relationships, and work toward a transition to a productive adulthood, which affords clients the motivation and capacity to give back to their local community.

BBBSSC incorporates a two-generational (2GEN) approach by referring clients’ parent/guardian to other social services agencies as needed, and through joint participation in a variety of activities, as follows: the Summer Reading Challenge; financial literacy programming; invitations to attend all BBBSSC back-to-school events and holiday parties; and participation on the Agency Program Task Force that advises BBBSSC on proposed policy changes. This wide range of activities / programming, as well as BBBSSC’s referrals to other service agencies, is designed to address a broad spectrum of 2GEN needs: social services for the family, financial literacy education, and the further development of a positive 2GEN relationship.

Developing and strengthening more than 120 partnerships and collaborations and garnering needed financial support through a multitude of fundraising strategies, including the annual campaign, corporate partnership development, major gifts, grants, private donors, and special events, has proven successful for the Agency for 37 years. BBBSSC relies on these diverse sources of funding to ensure the sustainability of critically needed mentoring programs. The Agency has Development Directors who are dedicated to initiating, developing, and strengthening partner relationships with local businesses, faith-based organizations, and professional clubs and organizations.

Since its inception in 1968, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has grown from a small volunteer organization to its position today as the leading youth mentoring organization in Southwest Florida. The agency is governed by its Corporate Board of Directors, with separate Community Boards representing each distinct service area. BBBSSC's President and CEO, Joy Mahler, has led the Agency for 38 years.

Partnerships provide the means for BBBSSC to reach and advocate for at-risk youth, recruit reliable volunteers, and provide underprivileged youth with the opportunity to connect with a larger network of community resources. BBBSSC’s partnerships and collaborations help to provide the Agency with the means to accomplish its mission and positively impact the long-term future of the local community’s at-risk youth. Under the terms of an active and annually renewed interagency agreement with each school board within the agency's footprint, school districts provide BBBSSC with client referrals, grade reports, student progress on targeted outcomes, and access to school staff. BBBSSC collaborates with sheriff’s offices, youth and family services organizations, local businesses, professional organizations, clubs, and churches to recruit volunteers (with intentional focus upon recruiting male and minority individuals), reach at-risk youth, benefit from their expertise (such as through mentor enrichment trainings hosted by the sheriff’s offices), and host or assist with events.

There was no break in services during the pandemic and, in fact, mentors have been connecting with their matched Little more frequently, ensuring that they remain on track academically, are on the path to meeting anticipated outcomes, and that they and their families have the resources needed to have all of their needs met. The Agency is also remotely connecting with other service providers to ensure that its clients and their families have their needs met.

The Agency is providing much-needed support to its one-to-one matches to empower local youth whose need for guidance and support is even more significant during the pandemic. BBBSSC has been focused on providing mentors with the guidance, tools, and training needed to effectively mentor remotely, including technical support to troubleshoot any issues with technology, access, and remote learning. BBBSSC has offered virtual mentor enrichment seminars using the expertise of local professionals, and it has hosted many educational and fun virtual experiences for clients and matches, such as cooking lessons, reading games, and holiday celebrations. BBBSSC's quick pivot in March 2020 to professionally supported remote mentoring, as well as its focus on safe community-based mentoring, has been vital to meeting the needs of the youth served throughout its footprint.

The Agency measures One to One Mentoring Program success by measuring changes in academic achievement and risky behaviors. These outcomes are measured utilizing objective and subjective methods. Objective measurement includes individualized Youth Outcome Development Plan, and the evaluation of academic grade reports. Subjective measurement includes professional Mentor Manager assessment and observation in collaboration with regular contact with the mentor, the youth, the youth’s parent/guardian, and
appropriate school personnel. The academic focus of the One to One Mentoring Program has resulted in outstanding outcomes for the underprivileged youth served. Of students served during the July 2020 – June 2021 academic/fiscal year, 98% earned grade level promotion or graduated high school. Among graduates, 94% enrolled in higher education, the military, or entered the workforce.

Similarly high outcomes are anticipated for the current July 2021 - June 2022 fiscal year, as high outcomes are consistently achieved. This constancy in results, coupled with the fact that youth who achieve academic success and graduate from high school are afforded greater opportunities for gainful employment, results in the One to One Mentoring Program helping to create a pathway for the educational successes necessary for at-risk youth to escape poverty and lead self-sufficient, productive lives.

BBBSSC enables clients to develop the life skills and plan needed to achieve a post-secondary education or a career pathway that will lead to a financially independent adulthood. Disadvantaged students often do not have the guidance needed for this development, and they are thereby less likely to enter adulthood prepared to overcome barriers and access opportunities. BBBSSC's mentors provide disadvantaged youth with ongoing financial planning tools, guidance, and strategies. Mentors work with clients to ensure FAFSA completion, as well as job, scholarship, and higher education applications. Also, thanks to a partnership with Career Source, clients are provided with career coaches, internship opportunities, job search assistance, and various career-related workshops that include learning about career opportunities, resume-building, and mock interviews.

Financials

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 7/27/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Donald Patterson

Ascend Wireless Network

Term: 2020 - 2023

Susan Flynn

Bon Eau Enterprises

Jessica Hardy

Enterprise Rent A Car

Randall Woods

Florida Blue

Jamal Jenkins

Walmart

Timothy Parker

Merrill Lynch

Mike Tennant

Cintas

Francis "Frank" Spinola

Retired

Michael Nachef

Lee Health

Fermin Miranda

SunTrust Bank

Perry Korszen

Raymond James & Associates

Sandi McDonald

Comcast

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/27/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data