major new initiative
big brothers big sisters southeastern pa kicks off 100th anniversary with announcement of major new initiative
Largest mentoring organization in the region unveils Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center
PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 16, 2015) — Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania (BBBS SEPA) today marked its 100-year anniversary by announcing its newest initiative, the Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center (MRPC).
The MPRC is designed to serve as a vehicle for BBBS SEPA to extend its reach and impact to more children by helping other youth mentoring organizations improve their practices. The MPRC will work with other nonprofit organizations in the region to improve the quality and effectiveness of mentoring by focusing on four main pillars of service: training and technical assistance, stakeholder engagement, advocacy, and data collection. The goal is to strengthen youth mentoring through collaboration and partnership.
The MPRC will have its own staff and will operate out of BBBS SEPA headquarters in Center City. It will make its services available throughout the region and on the web.
“We currently serve 3,200 children per year, but the MPRC will allow us to touch the 135 nonprofits in Greater Philadelphia involved in youth mentoring and help serve more than 200,000 children in need in our region,” said Marcus Allen, CEO and executive director of BBBS SEPA.
He added, “No other organization is providing these types of peer-to-peer networking opportunities in the local mentoring community.”
The MPRC will work with many different types of mentoring, including group mentoring, natural/organic mentoring, peer mentoring, e-mentoring and one-to-one mentoring, as viable, effective, and innovative ways to help youth achieve positive outcomes. The MPRC will promote best practices across the field of mentoring, including practices of BBBS SEPA and others from elsewhere in the field.
“We at Big Brothers Big Sisters have long considered ourselves the gold standard of mentoring programs, but we understand and embrace the idea that there are other successful forms of mentoring,” said Allen. “That’s why we thought this kind of collaboration and resource center could be so effective in improving the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for the region’s young people. We want to close the mentoring gap.”
The MPRC will focus specifically on youth mentoring, which is loosely defined as children and youth up to age 21. Primarily, the MRPC will collaborate with organizations that have youth mentoring as their primary mission, or as a supportive program to their overall mission. The MPRC will also provide support to groups that are interested in starting a program that doesn’t exist yet.
“Youth with access to high quality mentors have improved educational and behavioral outcomes, but nationally one in three young people will reach age 19 without the benefit of a mentor,” said Abigail Ellis, Executive Director of the MPRC, “This model allows us to bring the power of mentoring to more children.”
Ellis added, “In the end, every child who has a mentor becomes a beneficiary of this assistance, thereby increasing the chance for them to reach their highest potential.”
ABOUT BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
For 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s third largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agency, the organization makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages seven through 18, in communities spanning Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware Counties. Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. In 2014, we served more than 3,100 children. For more information, please visit makeitbig100.org.