Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), a Philadelphia-based research group, conducted a five-year study of BBBS agencies nationwide called “Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters.” It found that youth matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister were:
- 46% less likely to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking
- 52% less likely to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip classes
- 33% less likely than their peers to report hitting someone
- More trusting of their parents or guardians and less likely to lie to them
- Felt more supported and less criticized by their peers and friends
- Earned higher grades and had a more positive attitude about how they did in school
BBBS volunteers had the greatest impact in preventing alcohol and substance abuse, with minority boys and girls being the most strongly influenced (70% less likely than peers to initiate drug use). What makes our matches such a powerful influence on children’s life choices? The answer lies in the special mentoring approach of BBBS of carefully matching and supporting volunteers to suit a child’s developmental needs.