Enroll a Youth

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Apply to be a Little by choosing an option below.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN seeks to serve children who are most in need of our services. Children are eligible to enroll in our program if they live in our service area (Benton, Stearns, Morrison, Sherburne, and the norther tier of Wright Counties), are between the age of 7 and 16  for the Community Based Program and 5 and 14 for the School Based Program. Youth also must have one or more of the following traits:

  • Exhibit poor social skills
  • Has few friends his/her own age
  • Lacks adequate support and attention of a stable adult
  • Struggles academically
  • Has a parent/guardian who is or has been incarcerated
  • Has a family member in the military
  • Is eligible for free or reduced lunch
  • Has older siblings who have had significant problems with social or community adjustments
  • Is living in a single, separated, divorced or remarried family situation
  • Has a poor self-concept
  • Dealing with the loss of or serious illness of a family member

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary of Terms.

COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAM

Community-Based "Bigs" and "Littles" spend a couple of hours together, 2-4 times a month doing activities out in the community. A few activities that Community-Based matches enjoy are: going to movies, grabbing a bite to eat, and going to the park. Littles in this program can be matched with a Big, Big Couple, Or Big Family. Bigs in this program range in age from 18 plus.

How to enroll my youth in the Community Based program:

  1. Application   An application signed by the parent/guardian is needed for all youth to be in the program.  If you would like to sign up your youth, please click on the green Community-Based Application button below. You can apply online or with a paper form. We are unable to move forward in the process without the application completed and returned.
  1. Interview   Once we receive the signed application, we will set up an interview with the parent/guardian and the youth.  We will contact the parent/guardian to schedule a time.  These interviews are done through zoom and can be done in person under special circumstances.   This interview helps us get to know the family and helps to determine whom the youth will match best with and who the parent/guardian will partner well with if accepted into the program. There may be additional paperwork required to help us better understand the needs of the youth. 
  1. Determination   Once we have gathered all the required information, the Enrollment Coordinator will determine if the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is a good fit for the youth.  If it is determined it is not a good fit, the Enrollment Coordinator will notify the parent/guardian.  If it is determined to be a good fit, the youth will be placed on our waiting list.  Depending on the location, age of the Little, interests and preferences, it could take several months, a year, or even longer to find the best match. While the child is on the waiting list they are eligible to participate in any of BBBS activities that invite Waiting Littles. Families are also welcomed to use BBBS donated tickets while they wait for a Big. Families can view this information in a biweekly email or quarterly newsletter.
  1. Match   Once the Enrollment Coordinator has a potential match in mind for the youth, their files will be transferred to the Program Coordinator. The Program Coordinator will contact the  parent/guardian to share information about the Big, Big Couple, or Big Family. The family can accept or not accept based on what they hear. If the family chooses to accept, the Program Coordinator will then schedule a meeting with all parties.  The Program Coordinator will facilitate the initial match meeting. These can be done in person or via Zoom.
  1. Match Support   Once the match is made the Program Coordinator will routinely check in on a monthly basis with the Big, Little, and Parent/Guardian. These check in’s are scheduled once a month through an email picking your date and time on Acuity scheduling. These are required in order for the match to continue.

Community Based Handbook

Scholarships Available for Youth in our Program

SCHOOL/SITE-BASED PROGRAM

School/Site-Based "Bigs" and "Littles" spend about one hour together, one time per week. School/Site Based matches meet at the youth's school or designated site and remain on school/site grounds during their time together. A few activities that these matches enjoy are: playing board games, arts & crafts, reading, and possibly playing on the playground. School districts currently served include: Foley, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Pierz and St. Cloud. Youth between the ages of 5 and 14 are eligible for this program.  Bigs in this program can be High School students or adults from the community.

How to enroll my youth in the School/Site Based Program

  1. Referral   Youth in K-8th grade are eligible for the School/Sited-Based Mentoring program.  We accept referrals from teachers, social workers, therapist, guidance counselors, and other professionals
  1. Application   An application signed by the parent/guardian is needed for all youth to be in the program.  The parent/guardian can sign up their youth, by clicking on the green School/Site-Based Application button below. They can apply online or with a paper form. We are unable to move forward in the process without the application completed and returned.
  1. Interview   Once we receive the signed application, we will set up an interview with the youth.  We will contact the classroom teacher or parent/guardian (if doing distance learning) to schedule a time.  This interview is done via zoom or can be done in person in special circumstances. This interview helps us get to know the youth and helps to determine whom they will match best with if accepted into the program.
  1. Determination   Once we have gathered all the required information, the Program Coordinator will determine if the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is a good fit for the youth.  If it is determined it is not a good fit, the Program Coordinator will notify the parent/guardian.  If it is determined to be a good fit, the Program Coordinator will start to look for a match for the youth.  Depending on the school district, age of the Little, and preferences, it could take several months, a year, or even longer to find a match.
  1. Match   Once the Program Coordinator has a potential match in mind for the youth, they will contact the classroom teacher and/or parent/guardian to arrange a match meeting.  The Program Coordinator will facilitate the initial match meeting. These can be done in person or via Zoom depending on the school district.
  1. Match Support   Once the match is made the Program Coordinator will routinely check in with the Big, Little, parent/guardian and classroom teacher to see how the match is doing. 

School/Site-Based Handbook

Scholarships Available for Youth in Our Program