Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie County, Indian River & Okeechobee Counties Inc.

Fort Pierce, FL   |  www.bbbsbigs.org

Mission

Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Ruling year info

1985

CEO

Ms. Debbie Hawley

Main address

108 N. Depot Dr. Suite 102

Fort Pierce, FL 34950 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-2455513

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.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Located on the east coast of Florida, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties are profoundly impacted by extreme poverty, family conflict, and early academic failure. Research has shown that children of lower-income, less-educated parents frequently get off to a poor start in school and rarely catch up. Students who attend impoverished schools experience higher levels of failure on 3rd grade reading assessments. Of students leaving 3rd grade without reading proficiency, only 2 in 6 will learn to read effectively, and they are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school. Big Brothers Big Sisters is an evidence-based program that provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change lives for the better forever. When this occurs, there is positive impact on our families, schools, businesses and the community as a whole.

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?

BBBS Reads K-3 Literacy Tutoring

BBBS Reads Members provide literacy tutoring in a school-based mentoring program to students who are performing below grade level. They meet one-to-one, with struggling readers, enrolled in K-3rd Grade (three 30-minute sessions per week) at an assigned school site.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best place to help a child realize their potential is at school. Kids enjoy having their volunteer mentors meet with them on school grounds, during the school day, whether it’s in the classroom, media center or on the playground. And parents know what a positive impact it makes.

It’s teacher-approved. Some of the biggest supporters of our school-based mentoring program are teachers. They see students return from time with their Big filled with confidence, ready to learn and eager to succeed.

Mentoring helps a child learning about life. Although it takes place at schools, our School-Based Mentoring program isn’t limited to the classroom. At the end of the day, it’s really all about starting a friendship, providing guidance and inspiring kids to reach their potential.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Strong and enduring, professionally supported relationships are developed between "Bigs" and "Littles" through community-based one-to-one outings and activities. Matches spend time together doing things that will expose the child/youth to new learning experiences and promote social/emotional growth such as : taking a walk in the park, bowling, going to a museum, watching a movie, cooking, listening to music, going to the library, or simply hanging out and talking. Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles in the evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) students enrolled in the program receive one-to-one mentoring three times per week to work on pre-literacy skills from BBBS Reads Members. The children and their families also have the opportunity to participate in family literacy nights and Saturday community outings to sites such as the Vero Beach Art Museum, Riverside Theater and the Environmental Learning Center. Members also partner with community organizations to support service projects such as 9/11 Day of Service, Martin Luther King Day and more.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

The BIG Mission will expand the BBBS service reach by recruiting and matching Veterans, Law Enforcement and First Responders to mentor and engage struggling youth living in situations that are less than ideal for future success. The platform of weekly “site-based” one-one-one mentoring will build resiliency, social skills, literacy skills, and confidence by pairing those who have a lived experience of serving community and country with children whose lives are improved by having a dedicated mentor. Our service professionals are exactly the mentors we need to reach more children and continue this path of academic and social success.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Agency of the Year 2016

United Way of Indian River County

Affiliations & memberships

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of students showing improvement in test scores

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

School-Based Mentoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This data includes both mentoring programs: READS and School-Based.

Number of students who demonstrate improved overall literacy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

School-Based Mentoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This data is from both the READS and the School -Based mentoring program. Over 95% of students in the BBBS programs 12 weeks or more demonstrated improvement in one or more literacy areas.

Number of links and collaborations with external organizations that support student learning and its priority tasks

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

School-Based Mentoring

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Includes the schools and sites BBBS collaborates with to service children.

Number of mentors recruited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

School-Based Mentoring

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number includes all mentors who service all of our programs, VPK-12 grade.

Number of children who have emerging literacy skills such as beginning letter recognition and phonological awareness, story comprehension, and use of writing materials.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

VPK Emergent Literacy Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

VPK program servicing St. Lucie and Indian River Counties with concentration on improving early literacy skills for reading proficiency.

Number children performing average or above average academically

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Family relationships, Social and economic status, Unemployed people

Related Program

School-Based Mentoring

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number reflects the 95% of students mentored for 12 weeks or more performed at or above the average.

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.

With solid, research-based programs in place, the Agency is aiming to expand our quality mentoring services. There is a growing need for more mentors due to the significant poverty that exists in this service area. This need is documented by a waiting list of over 100 children. Our Agency aims to fill that gap as every child's future depends on his or her ability to read, write and build strong relationships that will help them achieve success at home, in school and out in the community. Big Brothers Big Sisters works diligently to provide resources that will aid children's growth in social/emotional development, academics, life skills and strength of character. Through our community-based program, we help children with an incarcerated parent to successfully graduate from high school without law enforcement intervention. This is a significant accomplishment as Congressional records show 69.9% of children with an incarcerated parent end up involved in the legal system. Through our school-based reading mentor program, we help children build self-confidence and the 5 basic reading skills (phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension) necessary to perform on grade level by the end of 3rd grade. This is critical as children learn to read from Kindergarten through 3rd grade but then read to learn thereafter. Only 2 in 6 who are not reading adequately by the end of 3rd grade move successfully through the K-12 system. The VPK Program focuses on oral language/vocabulary, print knowledge, phonological awareness and social/emotional growth. It was born out of comments that mentors made about the uneven playing field that was evident relative to kids entering Kindergarten--particularly those living in poverty. This highlighted the importance of early childhood education.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has adopted a strategic plan that addresses attainment of organizational goals through diversification of funds, sustainability, succession planning at all levels, board development, an increase in public awareness and program outcomes/accountability. The Board and fund development staff have set goals to increase individual giving by 150% and foundation contributions by 100% by 2017 year-end. Individual funding will be enhanced through a "Moves Management" system. Forty loyal contributors have been identified and are being cultivated through a variety of steps with the end goal of increased individual giving. The Board is continuing to attract Members of influence and affluence in all three counties who can assist in this strategy. One of the existing Board Members has also laid the ground work for two significant matching grants over the past two years. Senior staff and Board continue to update and revise succession plans while providing cross-training at all levels to encourage promotion from within. A new, interactive web site has been launched and the strategic plan calls for the use of a greater variety of social media tools. Program accountability strategies include regular dashboard reporting to the Board on quality metrics and number of students served by program. The VP of Programs completes quality assurance reviews on 5% of the case files each month and rates Case Managers' notes in the process. Program staff hold monthly meetings for peer sharing; quarterly meetings to review individual student progress; semi-annual meetings to prepare for program reporting to funders; and annual impact reports to stakeholders. None of this could be accomplished without strong, collaborative partners that allow Big Brothers Big Sisters to deliver quality services. For example, ALPI, Learning Tree Academy, C.A. Moore, Bridges Early Learning Center, Cradles to Crayons, Indian River Academy and Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie partner to provide VPK services. Suncoast Mental Health provides pro-bono counseling when needed for individuals and families within our program. Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County shares a van with BBBS, Indian River State College has their elementary education majors mentor and the school districts provide space for mentors and outcomes data.

The Corporate Board of Directors consists of 19 Members who are highly skilled and have diverse backgrounds relative to their profession, age, race, ethnicity, talents, and the community they represent. There are also two Advisory Boards that assist in fundraising, public awareness, program oversight and community outreach. The CEO has been with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over 25 years. She was also a 6-term elected School Board Member. The Chief Operating Officer just celebrated her 10th anniversary with BBBS. Likewise, the V.P. of Programs has been employed by this agency for more than a decade. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a St. Lucie County School Board Member. A strong Board and staff have consistently helped us achieve each and every outcome the Agency sets.

Currently, Big Brothers Big Sisters continues to respond to community needs by adding relevant programs such as the VPK project to it's already robust program offerings. A highly effective Board, strong collaborative partnerships, high expectations for performance, loyal donors, and long-term relationships with funders allows the Agency to continue it's mission. Further expansion of programming is limited only by access to funding. Currently, there are over 100 children waiting to matched with a mentor. BBBS recently added recruitment and fund development staff in an effort to expand programs in all three counties served.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    As a result of feedback, Big Brothers Big Sisters has expanded its mentoring services to pilot a new program designed to recruit veterans, firefighters, policeman/woman, and other first responders to be active mentors with struggling youth. Using these vital community resources as role models and mentors will enrich the lives of young people

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie County, Indian River & Okeechobee Counties Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie County, Indian River & Okeechobee Counties Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bradley Lorimeir

Retired Executive, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals

Term: 2019 - 2023

Joni Wyszkowski

Seacoast National

Joanna Meyers

Lori Fry

Indian River State College

Kim Morgenstern

PNC

Barbara Bennett

F.K. Sweet Elementary School

Mary Alice Bennett

Representative Larry Lee, Jr.

Anthony Bonna

Self-Employed

Michelle Borisenok

Beth Coke

The Coke Law Firm

Brad Gould

Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer

Gayle Harrell

Florida House of Representatives

Peggy Harris

Bradley Lorimier

Joseph Smith

St. Lucie County, Clerk of Court

Joseph Wallace

Walmart Distribution Center #7038, QA Manager

Olivia Watkins

Harry Williams

Amber Woods

Treasure Coast Lexus/Treasure Coast Toyota

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/8/2022

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
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/25/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.