Teen Programming Opportunities Help Little Dreams Go Big.

Being a Little Brother or Little Sister opens all sorts of new possibilities for a child’s future. The Teen Programming department helps Littles dream big, and then provides support to turn those big dreams into bright futures.

By the time they are high school seniors, Littles are already significantly more likely to graduate than their non-mentored peers. They have better relationships with their family and peers, and they are less likely to engage in risky behavior.

But what comes next? How do you score well on the ACT, choose a college, apply for scholarships or enter the workforce? What does it take to become an engineer or graphic designer, produce a hit record, or start your own business?

Our dynamic Teen Programming department helps Littles in grades 8-12 explore post-secondary options.  A year-round calendar of field trips, workshops and activities introduces teens to college access, workforce readiness and healthy lifestyle topics. Individually tailored, one-to-one assistance helps Littles successfully learn about their options and pursue their dreams.

Visit the Bigs Page to register for current Teen Programming events and activities. Please note:  All programming is currently only accessible to youth, families, and mentors who are actively* matched through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  We can’t wait to see you soon!

To learn more, contact Thulani Jwacu, Director of Teen Programming, at 651-789-2445 or tjwacu@bigstwincities.org.

*If you are a former Little whose match closed out of the program, you are eligible to access Teen Programming activities and support services.  Please contact Mae Kindler, Senior Teen Program Coordinator, for more information at mkindler@bigstwincities.org or 651-789-2446.

College Access and Success

We’re here to help each Little Brother and Little Sister — and each High School Big — navigate their pathway to success. Our college access and success services are tailored to each individual’s needs and interests, and include:

• Researching colleges and submitting applications
• Finding scholarship and financial aid options
• ACT and ACCUPLACER preparation
• Workshops and campus tours that introduce high school Littles, their Bigs and parents/guardians to area schools and guide them through the enrollment process

Actively matched Littles in grades 8-12 are currently supported by one of six coordinators in the department.  Connect with your coordinator directly to learn about opportunities for one-to-one, hands-on help via in person meetings. Parents/guardians and Bigs are welcome to attend these meetings as well!  If you are unsure who your contact is, no problem.  Please feel free to reach out to Thulani Jwacu, and he will make sure to get you in touch with the right person.

External Scholarship Opportunities for High School and College Students

Workforce Readiness

Learning about possible career paths can be the start of a promising future for a young person. The Workforce Readiness team helps Littles in grades 6-12 match their interests — from music to math, animals to architecture, and science to sales — to real-world job opportunities.

Career exploration activities give younger matches (ages 13+) a jump-start in thinking about future careers:

• Monthly tours of local businesses
• Individual interest assessments
• Connections to summer enrichment programming

Activities geared for older matches (ages 15+) link directly to real-world workforce needs:

• Practical employment skills workshops
• Individual career counseling and referrals
• Connections to jobs and internships

Leadership & Healthy Lifestyles

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps Littles make healthy decisions that lay the foundation for future success. Our Leadership & Healthy Lifestyles program is a year-round series of engaging activities designed to enhance:

• Leadership development and positive decision-making
• Adult-child communication
• Accurate adolescent sexual health knowledge

Looking for health related resources? Click here for a short list of resources around general health and adolescent sexual health.

Federated Challenge Scholarship

Big Brothers Big Sisters offers the Federated Challenge Scholarship exclusively for Littles and High School Bigs. Recipients will receive up to $5,000 annually to use toward tuition, books and other educational expenses to pursue an apprenticeship, certificate or associate’s degree. The current application period is closed, but be sure to check back in February 2020 for access to the scholarship application.

Contact Mae Kindler, Senior Teen Program Coordinator, at 651-789-2446 or mkindler@bigstwincities.org with questions, or click here for more information.