Become a Big, and help a young person see what’s possible.
more information
Apply to Be a Big

In Eastern Missouri, too many youth face hardships that threaten to limit their future. Their parents and caregivers are doing the best they can, but often their time and resources are limited by circumstances.

When a young person’s social network is stretched too thin, they may experience:

  • depression and anxiety
  • poor school performance
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • unplanned parenthood
  • juvenile detention
  • loss of hope for the future
One more person
can make all the difference.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, we believe every one of us can benefit from having one more person invested in our success. That’s why, at the request of parents, we match 5- to 17-year-olds (Littles) with caring adult volunteers (Bigs) to walk alongside them. For many Littles, their Big is the only relationship that’s all theirs—someone who can invest dedicated time to encourage them and introduce them to new possibilities and perspectives.

Our waiting list is


So... what exactly does a Big do?
Bigs show up.

Littles deserve a consistent, enduring relationship. To build that relationship, Bigs commit to a minimum of 12-months, two outings per month, for a minimum total of four (4) hours. Although it’s not required, many Bigs and Littles stay together far past that first year; sometimes a lifetime.

Bigs mentor.

It’s natural to feel a bit intimidated by the word mentor. But a mentor is simply someone who listens, encourages and points out possibilities. Bigs aren’t responsible for solving problems; they’re only responsible for caring about the challenges Littles encounter.

Bigs have so much fun!

Bigs and Littles hang out and talk, run errands together, go to the park, catch a game or a movie, grab a meal or make one, head to the library... you know: regular stuff kids and teens like to do. Honestly, the what isn’t the point. The point is the who. Could that be you?

Bigs receive support and coaching.

Bigs are part of a team of caring and important adults in a young person’s life. You’ll have the support of the Little’s parent and teachers and, of course, our professional program staff, who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Mentoring Programs
Big Brothers & Big Sisters

Youth are matched in a one-to-one relationship with an adult, usually of the same gender. Big Brothers and Big Sisters serve as a source of hope, encouragement... and fun! For boys growing up with single moms, Big Brothers are especially transformational.

Big Couples & Big Families

Many people are looking for opportunities to serve their community alongside their spouse or kids. Our Big Couples and Big Families make a lasting difference in their Littles’ lives—and their own lives are changed as a result! Because boys make up the majority of our waiting list, all Big Couples and Big Families are matched with Little Brothers.

Special Programs
Serving children of incarcerated families is a priority. In partnership with the State of Missouri, we lead the Amachi Missouri program. We also partner with police, fire, medical and military personnel who serve as Big Responders, playing a critical role in developing trusting relationships between communities and first responders.
“...his dreams were our dreams as far as I was concerned...”
Adam, Missouri 2019 Big Brother of the Year
Steps to becoming a Big
Individuals (at least 18 years old), couples and entire families can serve as Bigs. Submit your application to get the ball rolling.
& background checks
To honor parent’s trust, we require personal and professional/educational references. We also conduct extensive state and national background checks.
Potential Bigs meet with a Match Specialist so we can get to know you, and so you can ask all your questions. We also interview the parent and youth to learn all about the youth’s interests, personality, needs and preferences. Our experts strive to make the best match possible (and we’re told this is part of the magic).
When we identify a Little who’s a great fit for you, we’ll set up an introduction. As you show up for them, you’ll make a true and lasting difference in a young person’s life.
Not sure you’re ready?
Talk to a Big
Our Bigs love to talk about their experience! Have an open and candid conversation about what it’s like to mentor a Little, the support and training you receive and the difference it’s made in the Big’s life.
Schedule a Call

Host an Info Session
There’s a good chance you know people who are waiting for an opportunity like this. Invite 10 or more people to hear from one of our program staff members, and we’ll come to you—with snacks!
Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions