BC BIGS provides BC students the opportunity to serve as mentors to young people in Boston. It's a great way to get involved in the Boston community, make a difference in a young person’s life, and meet other BC students who share similar passions.
Thank you for your interest in joining BC BIGS! Your application will be sent to our partners at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts. You can expect to hear from them in 7-10 days. If you do not hear from them or have questions about your application, please email Katie Sullivan, Assistant Director of the VSLC at email@example.com. There is a 3 semester commitment at the minimum, please only apply if you plan to graduate in 2024 or later. Please be sure you have reviewed all program requirements before applying.
Before you apply, please ensure you review the following requirements:
- In addition to meeting with your little brother or sister (see details of the program-specific time commitments below), all BC BIGS must meet with their small, peer-led reflection group every other week for 1 hour for the entirety of their time in the program. No exceptions!
- All BIGS must attend the orientation the semester they are matched as well as semesterly trainings and events
- There is a minimum 3 semester commitment (therefore we cannot accept rising seniors)
- If you are matched at a T accessible site we cannot reimburse you for fare
- BC BIGS cannot accept students who are already participating in 4Boston because of the time commitment and limited number of spaces in both programs
- All BIGS must communicate regularly with their match support specialist as well as BC BIGS staff and leadership
BC BIGS proudly partners with families and volunteers from all backgrounds, races and beliefs. We expect all members of our mentoring community to bring their whole selves into their mentoring relationships. Racism, in all its forms, is a threat to genuine connection and trust. So, as a program and community, we commit to examining antiracism at all levels. While we don’t expect our volunteers and families to be experts on antiracism, we ask that they approach our program with an open mind and willingness to learn as we strive toward dismantling individual, institutional and societal racism.
We commit to:
- Actively reflect on our individual experiences and identities by creating spaces to critically discuss race and antiracism.
- Actively understanding our belonging to group identities, which includes but is not limited to the challenges, privileges, histories, and inequities experienced and/or perpetuated as part of our belonging to these groups.
- Actively center the voices, experiences, and leadership of BIPOC students, youth, families, and adults.
We will fulfill these commitments by:
- Required training for staff, leaders and Bigs.
- Facilitating dialogue and everyday conversations about race in mandatory reflection groups.
- Improving representation of BIPOC in Bigs, leaders, staff, and speakers.
- Implement white antiracism group for Bigs to engage in the personal and collective work of antiracism.
- Continue the work of the Bigs of Color group as a space and support to the unique experiences within the program.
- Utilize existing resources on campus, such as FACES, and bring to campus new resources such as BBBSEM antiracism work, to support BC Bigs in their reflection and action.
Yolanda Okundaye '21
Yolanda Okundaye ('21) was matched in the campus-based program in 2018, she transitioned to a community match in 2021.
Becoming a part of BC bigs was a turning point in my college career. I have always aligned my aspirations and goals with the ultimate goal of creating more opportunities for those who look like me. Sometimes we forget why we started. BC bigs, my relationship with my little, serves as a constant reminder for why I started. It is also an incentive to keep going despite all odds. I am forever grateful for this formative experience.
Abel Yohannes '23
Abel Yohannes ('23) has been matched in the school-based program since 2019
I became a BC Big because I saw a need for positive male role models for underprivileged youth in Boston. Growing up in Boston I have seen how beneficial mentors and role models can be for our youth and I wanted to help ensure the success of our youth by volunteering as a Big. I am grateful that BC Bigs has given me an opportunity to give back to my community and make my college experience as meaningful as possible. I am also grateful to be connected with students that are just as passionate about service and social justice through BC Bigs.
Lubens Benjamin '23
Lubens Benjamin ('23) has been matched in the school-based program since 2019
I wanted to be a BC Big because I know the type of impact having a strong role model can have on a child. When I was young, I was in many after school programs. I grew just as much in those programs as I did in the classroom. Having strong role models helped me navigate such an uncertain time in my life. My role models showed me the different paths I could pursue in my life and helped me realize my potential. Through BC Bigs, I have learned how to truly listen and advocate. BC Bigs is an experience that has kept me grounded during my time at Boston College. It reminds me about what is truly important in this world—giving back to others. I am a firm believer in the notion that we ought to be a part of something bigger than ourselves in life to be happy. I do that through BC Bigs.
Gabby Jimenez '21
Gabby Jimenez ('21) was matched in the school-based program in 2017
Bigs is constantly pushing to diversify, educate, and expand the program through efforts such as speaker series and small groups that facilitate conversations about race and identity. Bigs has also developed a program called Bigs of Color. This program grants another space where AHANA students have community and honest opinions on how the Bigs program can constantly improve. Bigs are always trying to evolve the program to ensure the most fruitful experience for those involved.
We partner with communities in Dorchester and Mattapan for this campus-based mentoring program, where Little Brothers and Sisters are transported to campus on alternate Saturdays throughout the year. In Dorchester, we partner with Franklin Field Housing Development and in Mattapan, we partner with the Mildred Ave Community Center. During the academic year there are approximately 15 structured events lasting about 3-4 hours. Bigs and Littles share in the fun large-group programming, and then have one-on-one time each week as well.
Please note: The BC BIGS Franklin Field and Mattapan Programs involve a larger time commitment than the other BC BIGS Programs.
These are school-day mentoring programs where Big Brothers and Big Sisters meet their Little Brothers or Little Sisters on a weekly basis at a local Boston Public school for lunch and recess. A Big can help make school a more fun and enjoyable place to be by spending time with their Little, eating together, playing sports, sharing stories, doing arts and crafts, or simply sitting and talking together. The commitment is one hour per week with your Little, plus any travel time into Brighton or Allston.
“Families” are what we call our small reflection groups facilitated by the student leaders. The family groups are safe spaces that provide support, help to build community, and allow BIGS the opportunity to reflect on their service experience.
- Are a mandatory component of the BC BIGS program and attendance is enforced
- Meet for 1 hour every other week
- Are run in the spirit of the Jesuit Tradition of Boston College. We believe that reflection is an essential component of service and helps to deepen learning.
- Are a great way to get to meet others on campus
- Discuss issues of social justice while providing a space to ask questions about mentorship
In collaboration with our partners at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts, BC BIGS asks all members of our community to participate in our shared values:
Let this experience change and challenge you.
Take intentional steps to achieve youth outcomes. Know that all of our actions drive change for children in our program.
We are all mentors and mentees. Cultivate contexts and relationships that are safe for self-expression and that celebrate our shared striving.
View your experience through a lens of social justice. Take time to know the structural barriers that impact our participants.
Be willing to learn from others, especially from those who have had experiences different from your own.