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Big Brothers Big Sisters

Organization Mission

We create and support one-on-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. We have served more than 7,000 local at-risk children, providing a crucial foundation at a critical time of their lives.

Mentors make Santa Cruz County a safer and healthier place by helping children make better decisions, which increases their chances of staying in school and decreases their challenges with substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and the criminal justice system.

The Big Idea:
Mentoring: Virtual + In-Person

More than one-third of youth in Big Brothers Big Sisters have become caretakers, breadwinners and tutors since the pandemic began. COVID-19 disproportionately affects the families we serve.

All of our services are available virtually now and one positive outcome is that this opens up mentoring for more volunteers, including seniors and others who also may be experiencing isolation. We are uniquely positioned to provide consistent out-of-school and virtual support if needed, and our mentors continue to serve as a vital source of consistency and connection.

Juan started to become depressed in April with the shelter-in-place order. Joe really invested time and energy to help Juan adjust to the unexpected changes. Joe is very caring and he really wants what is best for Juan. He has shown this throughout the last five years with his time, support, and enthusiasm. There's an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child and we are fortunate to have Joe be part of our village.

Ana Maria (mother) , Soquel