Center for Community Engagement

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the United States. BBBS is a leader in youth service which focuses on developing positive one-on-one relationships between mentors of all walks of life and children ages 6 to 18 all over the US.
National research has indicated that positive relationships between youth and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters mentors have a direct and measurable impact on children's lives. By participating in youth mentoring programs, Little Brothers and Sisters are, according to the BBBS website:

  • More confident in their schoolwork performance
  • Able to get along better with their families
  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school.

Amherst College BBBS:The site-based match program began in 2005.  Amherst has two types of matches, Site-based, and Community-based. Site based matches meet once a week (Mondays 4:00-7:00 for middle-school aged kids, and Tuesdays 3:30-6:30 for elementary-aged littles) at Amherst, and Community based matches meet depending on the Big’s schedule. Amherst's very own Community Engagement Leaders work to provide support and enhance our big, little, and greater community's experiences.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Amherst College BBBS raised money to support another Big/Little match through the popular Assassins fundraiser game on campus. Amherst College had an unprecedented 100% participation in the annual Bowl-a-thon Bowl For Kids' Sake Fundraiser that raised over $70,000 for the program! This year we will host Assassins and the Bowl-a-Thon in the Fall semester and the Daffodil Run in the Spring.

It is an exciting time to be a Big with lots of growth potential!

Sounds Great! How Do I Apply?

  1. Inquire today! Email your BBBS partnership Community Engagement Leaders: Stephanie DeClue ( or Jeremy Kesselhaut ( to find out more about info sessions.
  2. Apply.  Ready to take the next step? Fill out the application available to you at each info session!
  3. Interview.  A match coordinator will interview you in person.
  4. Background Check.  Child safety is our priority, so we'll review your records to ensure you'll be a good fit for our program.
  5. References.  You'll need to provide at least two references of people we can talk to about your ability to be a mentor.
  6. Matching.  We will review the kids in your area who need a Big Brother or Big Sister and find the best fit for you.  Depending on your gender and the kind of child you'd like to work with, matching may go very quickly or take some time.  Making the right match is important to our commitment to form lasting relationships. 

Spending Time with Your Little

Once matched, Big Brothers and Big Sisters develop friendships with their Little Brothers and Little Sisters. BBBS is unique in that it is not a tutoring program; rather it is a mentorship and friendship that offers the opportunity to develop meaningful and significant relationships with your match. Once matched, you will remain with the same Little your entire time at Amherst, which fosters a deep and lasting bond. Whether playing a computer game or simply hanging out - you bring magic into the life of a child.  It's that simple. 

Transportation to and from campus for site-based pairs

  • After each session of the site-based program, two Bigs will be involved in driving the Littles home; one driver and one ride-along.
  • Ride-alongs are responsible for walking each Little to his/her door and making sure that he/she enters his/her house safely.
  • All Bigs with drivers’ licenses must drive.  Each Big will commit to driving once per semester, and will be a ride-along once per semester
  • Bigs without drivers’ licenses will commit to being the ride-along (at least) twice per semester
  • There must be at least one female Big present on each car ride.
  • If there is a specific scheduling conflict for your scheduled day, you may switch with another Big.  However, this switch must adhere to all other driving protocol, and either Ruth, David, or Leah must be notified IN ADVANCE.

Much of this information comes from or Go there to find out more!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County from Amherst CCE on Vimeo.

Annual Craft Fair

The annual craft fair, to be held at Northampton High School, will be held on December 3-4; local artists will be featured, and all proceeds go to benefit BBBS of Hampshire County.  Come support the community in more ways than one...and get your holiday shopping done too!

Recent Events: Valentine's Day Cookie Decorating

Bigs & Littles Having Fun on Valentine's Day

 Annual Bowl-a-thon: Masquerade Bowl!

Our next event is the annual bowl-a-thon-and this year, there's a masquerade theme! It's our biggest fundraising event of the year, and it's a ton of fun...raise money and bowl with us in Northampton to show your support!  You can find out more information about getting involved here:

Join us on November 2nd or 3rd; there will be food, drinks, prizes, and, of course, bowling!

Amherst College Site-Based Program