What we do
At BBBSCSI, our vision is to have all young people realize their full potential. That’s why we have made it our mission to enable life changing Mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “[a]bout one in seven young people in [British Columbia]—or 14%—will experience a mental illness at some point. . . . [B]etween 50 and about 70% [of mental illnesses] show up before the age of 18, so they can have a huge impact on a child’s development. Mental illnesses can affect how well kids do in school and how they form relationships with other kids and adults. Mental illnesses, if not treated early, can be disruptive enough to a kid’s normal development that it can affect them for the rest of their lives.” Every child deserves the chance to thrive, which is why we offer Mentoring and Social-Emotional Learning Strategies to support them. Our programs address the goal of developing thoughtful, socially responsible youth. We embody the principles of diversity, welcoming any race, religion, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
We offer an extensive variety of one-to-one and group programs, and we have pivoted to offer these essential resources virtually. These are now offered both during and outside of school hours. Last year we served over 9,000 young people with our programs and resources.
These effective and evidence-based programs are delivered to elementary, middle and high school students in a variety of communities throughout the Central and Southern Interior of British Columbia. They are designed to increase empathy, self-awareness, and self-regulation, therefore enhancing cognitive functioning, personal success, friendships, and resiliency in both students and communities. Mentoring is about the power of healthy relationships and helping children and youth reach their full potential.
Children and youth in our mentoring programs gain self-esteem, problem-solving skills, psychological resilience, self-expression, and skills for building positive relationships with peers and adults. Mentors experience a sense of discovery and enjoyment as they see the world of possibility open up through a child’s eyes.
THE STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL MENTORING
We have a comprehensive infrastructure for supporting mentorship partnerships: detailed legal screening of mentors to ensure child safety; a broad network of professional staff supporting mentors and volunteers; systems for selecting, approving and supporting volunteers; referring families to agencies that provide other services if required for the mentee and theirfamily.
WE CHANGE LIVES
THE COST OF DOING NOTHING
Potential. It exists in every kid. Yet many children and youth struggle with societal barriers and face adversities such as poverty, family instability, and identity-based discrimination. These adversities can negatively impact a young person’s future.
PAVING THE WAY TO SUCCCESS
With the guidance and support of a mentor, these risks can be avoided, and these young people can gain the confidence to achieve more – higher incomes, happier lives, more contributions to their communities.
THE CONFIDENCE TO ACHIEVE MORE
Our mentors advise and challenge these young people, act as their champions, provide greater consistency in their lives, connect them to broader experiences, opportunities and networks, and provide safe, nonjudgmental environments in which the child or youth can confide anything.
WHICH LEADS TO BETTER FUTURES
HOW DO WE DO IT?
BBBS creates individual and group mentoring relationships amongst adults and youth.
Mentorship is two-way, learning and development partnership where the young person’s needs are placed at the centre.
Because young people’s brains are still developing, mentoring can support that process through back-and-forth interaction like the volley in a good game of ping-pong.
Mentoring is an important way to give youth experience with these essential back-and-forth relationships, developing them into healthy young people better able to deal with and overcome life’s adversities.