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Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs Improve Lives of Youth

BIG-BROTHERS-BIG-SISTERS-LOGOFor kids who face adversity, participating in the mentoring programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America can have positive academic, socio-emotional, and behavioral benefits.

That’s the conclusion of the 2011 Youth Outcomes Report, the first ever produced by the Philadelphia-based national mentoring program. The report shows significant improvements for youth during the first year of enrollment in the organization’s program in three targeted outcome areas—educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors such as truancy, and socio-emotional competency. Progress in these areas is linked to longer-term outcomes such as high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency, and college or job readiness.

2011 Youth Outcomes Report

The 2011 Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey report represents the first nationwide data collected from the organization’s Youth Outcomes Survey, a critical component of its Outcomes Evaluation System that fosters program accountability, improvement, and growth. By measuring changes in three main areas—school-related performance, risky behaviors, and socio-emotional competency—the YOS builds on two longstanding research studies conducted by Public/Private Ventures that found youth enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs experienced positive improvements in those areas.

Highlights of the 2011 YOS reflect changes in youth after being matched with a mentor for either one year in a Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based program or one academic year in its School-Based program.

The YOS found statistically significant improvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based matched youth in all three areas—educational-related success, avoidance of risky behaviors, and socio-emotional competency. Statistically significant improvement in School-Based youth attitudes was found in two areas: educational-related success and socio-emotional competency.

  • Improvement was found in 6 of 8 outcome measures for Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based mentoring program and 5 of 8 outcome measures for its School-Based program.
  • 97.9 percent and 96.6 percent of youth maintained an average or above average score or indicated improvement in the area of socio-emotional competence for Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based and its School-Based programs, respectively.
  • 88.8 percent and 83.4 percent of youth maintained an average or above average score or indicated improvement in the area of avoidance of risky behaviors for Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based and School-Based programs, respectively.
  • 94.5 percent and 95.2 percent of youth maintained an average or above average score or indicated improvement in the area of educational success for Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based and School-Based programs, respectively.
  • 91.5 percent of youth showed improvement or maintained an average or above average score across at least 3 of 8 outcome measures in Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based programs, and 89.4 percent in its School-Based program.

Big Brothers Big Sisters presented its 2011 Youth Outcomes Report at the second annual National Mentoring Summit, Invest in the Future: Mentor a Child, January 24-25, in Washington, D.C.

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