In our community-based mentoring program, volunteer mentors (Bigs) provide mentees (Littles) with dedicated time and attention, at least 6-10 hours per month. During unstructured weekly or biweekly outings, filled with conversations and shared activities, they develop a relationship that helps youth manage the everyday challenges that are part of growing up. Over the course of time, children gain confidence in themselves, acquire new skills and competencies, and develop an enhanced capacity to care for others – all tasks that are a part of developing healthy maturity. Volunteers experience a sense of discovery and enjoyment as they see the world of possibility open up through the child’s eyes.
The community-based program is designed for children aged 6-14 and volunteers aged 21+. The program is fully professionally supported by a trained team of enrollment and match support coordinators so matches can grow into lasting, fruitful friendships.
Types of Activities
Unlike Nutmeg’s site-based mentoring program, in community-based mentoring Bigs and Littles have the freedom to coordinate their own, personalized match activities. While each match is fully supported by trained professional match support staff who help provide access to low-cost, no-cost activities on an on-going basis, matches enjoy the flexibility to schedule outings themselves, while participating in activities that they share an interest in.
In community-based mentoring, getting together with your Little doesn’t require a special occasion, specific day and time, or even an expensive activity – it just requires a few hours every month doing things you already enjoy. Though each match is an experience unique to the Big and Little themselves, usually our matches enjoy such activities as: playing catch, reading books, getting ice cream, going to a museum, hiking, playing Wii, baking cookies, and playing board or card games.
- Over the age of 21;
- Able to make a one-year commitment to spend at least six hours together each month;
- Provide at least three references;
- Pass agency-issued criminal and motor vehicle history background check;
- Must have a valid drivers license, proof of auto insurance, and have access to reliable transportation;
- Complete an in-person interview with a Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters program staff member; and
- Attend a one-time, two hour pre-match training session at our state office in Hartford.