United Way of Adams County
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Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties

Who We Are

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Adams County is an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the world's premier mentoring organization offering children the chance to have a meaningful one-to-one relationship with a caring adult. 

Our vision:  All children achieve success in life.

Our mission:  To help empower at-risk youth to make responsible life choices, to reach their fullest potential, and to enhance their community through professionally supported mentoring relationships with adult and student volunteer role models.

We partner with parents/guardians, volunteers, schools, and others in the community and hold ourselves accountable for each child in our program achieving:  high aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, avoidance of risky behaviors and educational success.

Our mission calls for us to change children'slives for the better, forever.  We put children on a path to lifelong success, changing the trajectory of their lives in positive ways.  Our vision is to create and support relationships between student and adult volunteers with every eligible youth in our service area.


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What We Do

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Adams County offer the following Programs:

Community Based Mentoring Program:  One adult.  One child.  Measurable results.  Independent research has shown that a Little Brother or Little Sister who is matched for one year or more is more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and to show more respect to adults.  Big Brothers Big Sisters has been recognized as one of the most effective youth developmental programs int he United States.  Our Community Based Program matches a volunteer Big Brother or Big Sister with a child (the "Little") who could benefit from a one-to-one relationship with a caring adult.

Our Community Based Mentoring Program is a minimum one-year program in which the Big and Little consistently meet 6 - 12 hours per month.  Matches ae made with consideration to geographic location, interests, activities and personalities. 

Getting together is a great time for both Bigs and Littles.  It doesn't require a special occasion or expensive activities; just a few times every month sharing simple things you already enjoy with a young person.  Things like, playing basketball, eating pizza, taking a walk on the battlefield, just hanging out and talking.

Community Based mentors vary in age, gender, professions and interests.  One quality al  mentors share is the desire to offer emotional support, guidance, consistency and friendship.  Through a mentor's encouragment, a boy or girl can achieve their potential.  The core of creating strong mentor-mentee matches is the careful selection, training and support of volunteers.  Applicant processing includes a Pennsylvania state criminal and FBI background check, two written references, and an in-person interview.

Children in the Community Based Mentoring Program are kids who could greatly benefit from additional adult guidance.  Boys and girls are referred to the program for many reasons; many children come from home where quality and adult attention is limited by single-parenthood, many siblings or transitional housing, including foster care.  Whatever the circumstances, these children need an adult in their lives who is caring, consistent, knows how to listen and can be a good role model.


SMART (Students & Mentors Achieving Results Together) Program: The SMART Program is an innovative approach by Big Brothers Big Sisters to reach a more diverse population of children.  The program is designed to improve youth's social skills as well as foster academic performance.  The high school/college volunteer (Big) meet with the elementary student (Little)  on the school grounds, once a week right after school for a minimum of one school term.  They work on homework, play games, or just hang out.  We have found that programs that offer activities with social focus are more likely to have greater academic impact, high quality and longer duration compared to programs that focus just on academic/tutoring activities.

The core of creating strong mentor-student matches is the careful selection, training and support of volunteers.  Applicant processing includes an application, two references and an in-person interview.  High school mentors may use the SMART Program to complete graduation projects.

Program Outcome Evaluations for this program are very encouraging.  The littles participating:

-develop more positive attitudes towards school

-achieve high grades

-expereince improved relationships with adults and peers

-were better able to express feelings

-developed increased self confidence

-were more likely to trust their teacher

By matching children with mentors in one-to-one relationships, we transform the life of a child, transform the life of a volunteer, and together transform our schools, our neighborhoods and our communities for the better and for generations to come.  Our focus is to connect Bigs with Littles in one-to-one relationships that not only transform the lives of the Bigs and Littles and their families, but that also transform communities.

Simple acts of mentoring yield powerful results.  Our dats shows that in contract with children who are not mentored our Littles:

-Decrease their use of violence

-Improved relationships with peers, adults and parents

-Resisted substance abuse

-Improved school attendance





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Contact Information

Address Information
18 Carlisle Street
Suite 109
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Contact: Linda Gorter
Contact Title: Director of Programs
Phone: 717-843-0051
Fax: 717-699-0671
Email: lgorter@bbbsyorkadams.org
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