There’s this pervasive idea in American culture that everyone has the same opportunities to achieve success. Well, that’s simply not true. Sure, all the options might be on the table for everyone, but an option doesn’t become an opportunity until it’s accessible. And countless Eastern Missouri young people and their families can’t even see all their options—let alone get access to them.
The “why” is complex, and after working with young people for more than a century, we can point to many interconnected hardships: poverty, toxic stress, segregation based on race and class, substandard housing, insufficient heath care and education, and crime and violence. All of these threaten to limit a young person’s future.
To combat these adversities created by economic inequities and systemic racism, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri aims to build a web of developmental relationships between youth and adults at home, in schools, and within communities that:
Let youth know they matter
Treat them with respect and heed their voices
Encourage continual improvement
Open doors to new experiences, education, employment
Help youth and families secure vital resources, and navigate social systems
stable and independent life.
Pass the mic, giving them voice and choice
Create shared plans to achieve shared goals
Make learning personal and memorable
Be in service to others, ensuring dignity and equity for all
Drive continuous improvement and innovation
Deepen understanding and create conditions for change
St. Louis (Headquarters)
501 N. Grand Blvd., Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63103
28 Portwest Court
St. Charles, MO 63303
1610 North Kingshighway, Suite 305
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701