The nation’s continuing economic uncertainty is challenging for most, but it is especially challenging for the nation’s at-risk youth. These youth—many of whom live in our St Louis community—are already facing multiple obstacles. But there is good news—some programs are making a difference.
According to Philanthropedia, Big Brothers Big Sisters is not just making a difference but has been ranked best of the best on a list of most recommended, high-impact national nonprofits serving at-risk youth. The nation's leader in quality, youth mentoring, Big Brothers Big Sisters received praise for its effective mentoring model that leads to positive and measurable youth outcomes for children who face adversity, as well as for its organizational leadership and community outreach.
Philanthropedia surveys foundation professionals, researchers, academics, nonprofit senior staffers and other experts on their views of charities' impact and organizational strengths. Big Brothers Big Sisters' first place ranking was the result of recommendations from 88 national at-risk youth experts with an average of 19 years of experience in the field. These experts looked at nonprofit organizations that worked with children they considered to be "at-risk," including some involved with the foster care or the juvenile justice system, runaways and homeless youths, kids who have dropped out of school or at risk of not graduating, and teen parents.
This comes as even better news for the greater St. Louis area. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri has received the national quality award for the third year in a row. BBBSEMO uses its 4:1+1 relationship model to surround each “Little” with the most important adults in their life—parent, Big, teacher and professional agency staff. Additionally, BBBSEMO is making a difference in the lives of youth through ABCToday! (formerly known as the ABC Education Initiative). Using strong school partnerships and independent third party data, the agency is dedicated to ensuring young people, particularly, its Littles, Attend school, Behave when there and have Classroom success in reading and math.
"We are delighted for our federation of agencies to be recognized by Philanthropedia as the leading nonprofit for at-risk youth” said Becky James Hatter, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. “Volunteer Bigs have the ability to change and transform lives through the trusting and enduring relationships they build with their Littles.”
BBBSMOE is actively seeking additional volunteer Bigs to be there in the lives of children. With nearly 1,000 area children on the waiting list, more Bigs are needed to ensure these children have the opportunity to succeed.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri was founded in 1914 as one of the “charter” agencies of the Big Brothers Big Sisters national movement. Through our 4:1+1model, young people are surrounded by caring and supportive adults to inspire them and show them anything is possible. The organization currently provides services to children and families in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Cape Girardeau County and Scott County. For more information, please contact Kathy Martin, 314-633-0041, or visit www.bbbsemo.org.