Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island

Defenders Of Potential

aka BBBSRI   |   Providence, RI   |  http://www.bigsri.org

Mission

BBBSI’s mission is to create and support one-on-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Ruling year info

1985

CEO

Ms. Katje Afonseca

Main address

188 Valley Street, Suite 125

Providence, RI 02929 USA

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Formerly known as

Big Sisters of Rhode Island

EIN

22-2606942

NTEE code info

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (O31)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (O31)

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

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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?

Mentoring Programs

Our Community Based Mentoring Program pairs at-risk youth between the ages of 7 and 15, in long-term, one-to-one relationships with adult volunteer mentors (who are at least 19 years old). ‘Littles’ and ‘Bigs’ are paired on the basis of personality, common interests, the child’s needs and the volunteer’s strengths. Together, the Big and Little decide on their outings and activities within the community. Although the program concludes after the ‘Little’ graduates High School, many relationships last a lifetime.

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

Site Based Mentoring pairs college students and working professionals with elementary and middle school students who may be in need of additional academic support or personal encouragement in a supervised group setting at a school or community site. Mentoring is typically 1 hour per week during the school year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

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.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island (BBBSRI) is the largest youth mentoring organization in Rhode Island. The Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) oversee two 501(c)3 organizations with a shared mission:

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island — a mentoring organization for youth in the state; and
• Big Sisters Fund (aka the Donation Center) — a social enterprise that collects donations of used clothing and household goods for resale as a means of generating funds to support the mentoring program expenses. Annually, the Donation Center keeps over 3-5 million pounds of cloth from entering Rhode Island landfills.

Collectively, both organizations are referred to as BBBSRI and both share a vision that all youth achieve their full potential.

Our belief is that every child has limitless potential and our responsibility to our youth is to help stand in the way of and overcome potential barriers that suppress potential. BBBSRI considers those who stand up for mentoring and make investments in our state’s future to be “Defenders of Potential”. BBBSRI serves youth in Rhode Island ages 7-18 who are considered youth in need of additional positive adult reinforcement and support. In the recent past, our program sought to provide mentoring refuge only for youth considered at-risk. As we've continued to develop our program we found that students despite general risk factors were in need of additional mentoring and the value it carries. As such, we've expanded our outreach to all youth in need of mentoring opportunities despite prominent risk factors. Our Mentoring Program team works closely with the Match and the families specifically to ensure that additional service or needs are/aren’t necessary for the family units continued stability.

BBBSRI operates two primary program mentoring models:

1) Community-Based Mentoring—One to one mentor/mentee relationships. We request a minimum of an 18-month commitment with “Matches”—pairing at-risk youth between the ages of 7 and 15 (“Littles”), in long-term, one-to-one relationships with adult volunteer mentors (who are at least 19 years old—called “Bigs”). ‘Littles’ and ‘Bigs’ are paired based on personality, common interests, the child’s needs and the volunteer’s strengths meeting 6-8 hours per month. Match meetings take place in the community. Our staff provides match support to these pairs by checking in with the mentor, mentee and family consistently. Staff monitor the relationship, answer questions, help troubleshoot challenges, and work with outside agencies on referrals when necessary.

2) Site-Based Mentoring—One to one mentor/mentee relationships. With this program we also request a minimum of an 18-month commitment. Matches meet weekly, or bi-weekly, for a minimum of one hour each session. Meetings take place at a specific, supervised site on a consistent day and time.

At BBBSRI, we pride ourselves on having manageable caseloads for our Match Support team so that they can provide quality support and supervision of relationships. Our Match Support Specialists keep a caseload between 55-65 matches. This can fluctuate a bit depending on quarterly vs monthly contacts. In addition to checking in on the match, child safety, providing coach and assisting in problem solving, our match support specialist provide wrap around services for the entire family. Our team is trained in motivational interviewing and relationship building to ensure that families are comfortable speaking with them and sharing when they are in need. At BBBSRI we know that our Littles are not able to focus on achieving their goals and connecting with their mentor when the family unit is struggling. When possible, our team takes the time to make referrals to our own Family Empowerment Investment Fund along with other organizations that can assist with food, heating, housing and mental health services.

In keeping our caseloads low, we are also supporting our team’s ability to maintain self-care and to prevent compassion fatigue and/or work place burnout. We understand the need for staff to be able to decompress and reflect on difficult conversations that they are having with families about the hardships they are going through. By keeping caseloads low we maintain a high staff retention rate which in return results in long lasting matches which create positive impacts on the youth we serve.

2026 Strategic Plan will be released in 2023.

Financials

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island
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Operations

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

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island

Board of directors
as of 03/21/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Tom Furey

Furey Roofing & Construction

Term: 2022 - 2023


Board co-chair

Yomayra Reyes

MetLife Auto & Home

Term: 2022 - 2023

David Fontes

BlumShapiro

Tom Furey

Furey Roofing Company

Olga Lowe

Hasbro, Inc.

Elizabeth Catucci

Northern RI Chamber of Commerce

Yomayra Reyes

MetLife Auto & Home

Hilina Ajakaiye

Greater Boston Conventions & Visitors Bureau

Patrick Butler

Banneker Supply Chain Solutions

Michael Smith

Webster Bank

Paul Oberg

Newport Consulting Partners

Aida Crosson

RI Attoney General

Rosie Fernandez

Cox Communications

Ted Turnbull

Merrill Lynch

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/10/2021

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

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data