Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bennington County
Southern Vermont College is proud of our longstanding relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bennington County is based out of United Counseling Services. BBBS connects elementary and middle school aged children identified by their school guidance counselor who may benefit from a mentor. Children are then paired with an adult based on common interests and meet regularly under the guidance of United Counseling Service to develop a one-to-one mentorship.
Southern Vermont College students have the opportunity to become a mentor through Big Brother Big Sisters. The program asks for a year-long commitment beginning in September but SVC students can apply throughout the year as matches are always needed. Information sessions are held at the beginning of the fall semester for any students interested in being a life-changing mentor. SVC students may also be nominated by staff and faculty. All potential BBBS mentors are expected to complete an application (including background check), be interviewed by a Big Brothers Big Sisters representative from United Counseling Services, and attend a mandatory training to help them develop skills which will support them as a mentor.
SVC students may participate as a mentor in two different ways. First, mentors may interact with their Little at the weekly after school program, structured by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bennington County staff. Second, mentors may visit their Little at school during a weekly lunchtime/recess time based on the mentor's schedule. Both opportunities require a 60 to 90 minute time commitment one day per week.
Currently, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring takes place at Bennington Elementary School and Mount Anthony Union Middle School. Transportation can be provided to SVC students interested in being involved in BBBS.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please e-mail Shannon Schmutz, Civic Engagement Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sara Diane Nolan, MSW
Adjunct Faculty, The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences