Big Brothers Big Sisters

Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, one-to-one mentoring relationships. As the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 5 through young adulthood in communities across the country.

On October 13, 1969, Big Brothers of Mahoning County provided direction and friendship to young males. In 1977, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mahoning Valley began serving both boys and girls in Mahoning and Trumbull County. That same year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage County started serving youth in Portage County through one-to-one mentoring relationships.

Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters continues to make an impact in the lives of children in the communities we serve. Our goal is to develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people through community-based or site-based mentoring.

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Volunteer Big hugging their Little.


We serve individuals in Portage, Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, and Jefferson counties in Ohio, as well as Mercer County in Pennsylvania. We provide volunteers who are role models to children in need of a mentor. These volunteers are interviewed, screened, and trained by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff members. After the intake process, the volunteers provide guidance, increase self-esteem, and assist the child in the day-to-day challenges that they face. We have two types of mentoring available: 

  • Community-Based Mentoring: A community-based match meets in the community. Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends, others get together with their Littles on weekday evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them. Community-based mentoring relationships involve one-on-one outings and activities, doing things the Big and Little enjoy together, like taking a walk in the park, going to museums, going to an event hosted by the local BBBS affiliate, listening to music, hanging out, and talking. 
  • Site-Based Mentoring: A site-based match only meets at a designated site (e.g., school, community center, or another site). Site-based mentoring relationships involve one-on-one activities, doing things the Big and Little enjoy together, like doing homework, playing board games, reading together, participating in activities that promote making good decisions, building social skills, and developing positively.
You can learn more about the BBBS mission and the benefits of mentorship on our national website below. 

Office Locations


325 N. State St., Girard, OH 44420
P: 330.545.0002


640 W. Main St., Ravenna, OH 44266
P: 330.296.6655


630 Market St., Steubenville, OH 43952
P: 330.469.8234


children matched with an adult mentor


of youth report increased self-esteem


of Littles reported better academic performance


Volunteer Eligibility and Expectations

Bigs or volunteers must be at least 18 years or older, have a valid driver’s license, and be willing to mentor for at least one year. Bigs will meet with their Little at least 2-3 times per month (6 hours per month) for a minimum of one year.

Interested individuals will begin the process by applying and going through an interview. Next, you will complete the training. Once a match is made, your case manager will provide you with a profile to learn more about your Little, and soon after, you will be introduced to them. Once introduced, volunteers are expected to initiate contact with their Little and their parent/guardian to schedule outings and maintain ongoing communication with BBBS staff members.

Child Eligibility and Expectations

Littles must be between ages 6 to 15 and live in Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, Trumbull, or Portage counties in Ohio or Mercer County in Pennsylvania. Littles must be in need of a mentor and willing to develop and maintain a relationship with an adult volunteer. Littles will meet with their Big at least 2-3 times per month (6 hours per month) for a minimum of one year. An agency screening process must be completed to participate.

Volunteer mentor posing with kid mentee on bike.
Volunteer role model at restaurant with child.


Volunteers! Big Brothers Big Sisters is always in need of adult volunteers who are willing to dedicate their time to the service of mentoring children and youth. Please contact us to learn more about how you can get involved.