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Be a Big Friend
Community-Based Mentoring


Big Friend Requirements

Age: At least 18 years old

Application Process:

  • Fully complete and submit Big Friend application

  • Provide four potential references

  • Schedule an in-person interview

  • Provide proof of a driver's license and auto insurance 

*Final approval for all applications is dependent on the successful completion of a criminal background check 

Approved Big Friend 


Time Commitment:

  • Mentor will meet with the Little once a week for at least one hour

  • Mentor will commit to mentoring for at least one year  ​​


  • Mentor will communicate with the BFLF office about how the match is going (activities completed, time spent together, any concerns about the match, etc.)

  • Mentor will communicate with the Little's parents about what kind of activity they will be completing and when they plan to return 

  • Mentor will work with the Little Friend to plan activities both parties will enjoy

  • Mentor will let the parent and Little Friend know if they will not be able to meet and need to reschedule a match outing

Be a Mentor
Apply Here


“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

Steven Spielberg

Get a Big Friend
Community-Based Mentoring

Little Friend Requirements

To receive services from the Big Friend Little Friend mentoring program, a child must: 

  • Be between the ages of 7 and 14 years. Exceptions to take children under the age of 7 will be made based on the number of volunteers available and the child's family situation. 

  • Reside within a 30 mile radius of Mitchell. 

  • Have a desire to participate in the program. 

  • Have a custodial parent/guardian who is capable of supporting a match relationship. 

  • If parents are divorced, there must be a clear resolution of all custodial issues. 

  • The needs of the child must be appropriate for volunteer intervention as determined by the Big Friend Little Friend staff. 

Guidelines for determining eligibility include: 

  • Has poor self-esteem​

  • Culturally and/or economically disadvantaged 

  • Exhibits poor social skills

  • Has few friends his/her own age

  • Lacks adequate support and attention of a stable adult

  • Is an underachiever academically

  • Is overly dependent on a parent

  • Has a sibling who has had significant problems with social or community adjustments

  • Is insecure and does not trust adults

A child may live in one of the following situations: 

  • A single-parent or no-parent home where the parent/guardian has legal custody

  • A family situation where one or both parents/guardians are mentally or physically disabled

  • A two-parent family experiencing crisis-related stress

  • A foster home where the child is in the care of a legal guardian

A child may not be accepted if: 

  • Contact with the child's parent is frequent, consistent, and appropriate

  • The child receives adequate contact or role modeling from another source on a regular basis

  • The child's problems are so severe that services from a volunteer mentor are inappropriate or inadequate

  • The parent/guardian is unwilling to give their consent for the child to participate

  • The child is unwilling to participate

Parent Expectations

Here are the expectations BFLF holds for parents whose child is approved and enrolled in community-based mentoring: 

  • Communicate with the Big Friend to schedule match outings

  • Ensure their child is dressed appropriately for the match outing

  • Talk to the child about the child's time with their Big Friend

  • Provide adequate money for outings

  • Be flexible about family plans to accommodate the match relationship

  • Will not use restriction from seeing their Big as punishment

  • Contact the Big Friend immediately if an outing needs to be rescheduled

  • Contact BFLF staff each month for match support

  • Will not ask the Big Friend to babysit

  • Will not send additional children (siblings, cousins, etc.) with their approved child for match outings

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