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Big Brothers Big Sisters to Mark National Mentoring Month with Nation's First Forum on Mentoring to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 200 youth services providers, philanthropists, policy makers, educators and juvenile justice professionals will gather in Washington D.C. to learn from experts, practitioners, researchers, mentors and mentees how mentoring is helping children who have been incarcerated, are in foster care, or are truant and chronically absent.

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Mentoring Partners in Action: Successful Children & Safer Communities, hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to mark National Mentoring Month, will take place from 7:30 a.m.2 p.m., Wednesday, January 23, at the Marriot Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Hosts include former Little Brother and two-time Super Bowl champion Darin Smith, MBA, and Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, whose father was incarcerated when she was a teen.  The forum's pre-event reception on January 22, sponsored by Lifetime TV, will honor Big Brothers Big Sisters alumni, including Lifetime's Teen Trouble host Josh Shipp. At the reception, hip-hop artist, EVE, will debut her new song, part of a fundraising and male mentor recruitment effort she is launching to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.  The forum comes on the eve of MENTOR's Washington, D.C. Mentoring Works: Inspire Achieve Advocate summit.

"Every year more than 1.6 million children under the age of 18 enter the juvenile justice system. Juvenile crime has a negative impact on all Americans," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Charles Pierson. "Big Brothers Big Sisters is an intervention that reduces delinquency; strengthens families and communities; protects public safety; and saves taxpayer dollars."

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the nation's largest network of youth mentoring agencies, carefully screens and pairs volunteers in one-to-one matches with youth who face adversity.  Independent studies and real-time Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Study™ data find youth enrolled in the program improve in school; their behavior and their self-esteem.  According to 2011 Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey data, 83.5 percent of youth in the community-based mentoring matches and 73.4 percent in school-based programs maintained or improved in educational success; risky behavior avoidance, and socio-emotional competency. These outcomes are consistent with longstanding independent research.

Goals of the forum include:

  • Supporting effective partnerships and collaborations to grow new/sustainable opportunities, to strengthen and grow one-to-one mentoring and increase the capacity to serve more children, families and communities
  • Reinforcing the importance of investing in outcomes-based mentoring programs that are proven to work, such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters evidence-based mentoring model, which is supported by nationwide information management system tracking, independent studies, and real-time Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey™ data.  
  • Hearing first-hand from mentees, mentors and mentoring experts; learning the social, emotional, and economic impact of an investment in mentoring as an intervention
  • Emphasizing the importance of robust volunteer screening/background checks in the field of mentoring and highlighting Big Brothers Big Sister' careful matching and match support processes and standards that prioritize child safety
  • Showcasing successful Big Brothers Big Sisters-juvenile justice partnerships as a means of sharing best practices and the successful impact of mentoring on juvenile justice outcomes

By providing ongoing match support and services for volunteers, mentees and families, Big Brothers Big Sisters keeps mentoring going strong long-term – on average, more than 26 months for community mentoring and 15 months for school and site-based mentoring

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships.  Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children ("Littles") with screened volunteer mentors ("Bigs") and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course.  The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization's 100-year history.  With about 350 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families. The organization is engaged in a nationwide search to reunite with alumni mentors, mentees, donors, and family, staff and board members.  Learn more at BigBrothersBigSisters.org

SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters

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