In 2017, our team took part in the United Way of the Lower Mainland Project Impact course where we tested new evaluation methods to better capture why and how matching a female mentor with an at-risk girl leads to extraordinary outcomes. As we hoped, this new evaluation method brought us richer and more valuable data than past tools. Here’s a snapshot of what we learned.
Tools of Change
Big Sisters mentoring imparts four powerful tools of change to Little Sisters: consistency, building confidence, positive role modeling, and trust. With these tools, Little Sisters are set on a path to achieve more.
Relationship Ripple Effect
By forming and maintaining a healthy relationship with her Big Sister, she improves her interpersonal skills, which allows for better interactions at school and at home, and ultimately, less isolation.
Having a Big Sister not only influences what a Little Sister knows, does or feels; it changes what she believes about herself—the core of her identity. By trying new things, engaging in new relationships, and questioning perspectives, each Little Sister learns to find her own voice and beliefs in a world that is continually trying to tell them who they are and how they should act. This is a vital skill for girls that come from violent, abusive, unstable or neglectful pasts as it enables them to make the right choices for themselves and to feel secure and confident in those choices.
Layers of Support
Our programs provide a deep and layered level of support for our Little Sisters as they build connections with their mentors, their caseworkers, the Big Sisters agency, and the larger community. Our caseworkers are also available to mentors whenever and however they need our support so that Big Sisters can be that difference in helping their Little Sister through whatever challenges she faces.
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