Big Brothers Big Sisters

What: Class Project

When: 2008


For over 100 years Big Brothers Big Sisters has been changing children’s lives one child at a time. It is the oldest, largest and most effective peer mentoring program around. It all began in 1904 when a New York court clerk named Ernest Coulter reached out to help the flood of young boys who came through his courtroom. He believed that caring adults could place a lasting impact on children and help to keep them out of trouble. By 1916 Big Brother’s had spread to over 96 cities across the United States.

In 1992 and 1993 a research study was done to check the effectiveness of BBBS. The groups studied were among the largest BBBS agencies around the US. They looked at 959 children age 10 to 16. They put them into two groups. Half were matched with a “big” and the other half were put on a waiting list. (To make a control group) Research shows that children involved with BBBS are 52% less likely to skip school, 46% less likely to use drugs, less likely to use alcohol, one third less likely to engage in physical violence and are more likely to get along with their families and peers.

My Relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters:

I have been a “big” brother since 2007. Without a doubt, this experience has defined my college experience. I have felt proud to be apart of this incredible organization. The level of commitment required is lofty, but the rewards, for me, always outweighed the challenges. My little and I enjoy WKU sporting events, video games, football and basketball, eating and random acts of racing to and from locations. “Hey, race you to the car!”

This project aimed to discover why Big Brothers Big Sisters was not a part of more students extra-curricular activities at Western Kentucky University. Through primary research, we learned much.

Research Findings

The team discovered many interesting findings. For example, individuals sampled do not plan on staying in Bowling Green past college, yet, while they are here, individuals for the most part have the 2-4 hours available a week to volunteer. Almost half of the population sampled said that they were somewhat interested in volunteering, with 35 percent saying very interested. Yet, only 35 percent volunteer currently. Our most interesting find is that if more information was readily available about BBBS, 76 percent said they would be interested in joining. What keeps people from volunteering was not a major surprise. Generally, people cited lack of time or energy, lack of motivation, or that there were plain lazy.

In terms of potential promotional methods BBBS could use, the team generated some excellent feedback and received some great responses. Many mentioned using and as methods to recruit interested students. Others said that a promotional agenda involving a student involvement fair with the Freshman MASTER plan, classroom visits with BBBS speakers, bulletin board mediums like posters and brochures, a table in DUC, Ads in College Heights Herald, and many other interesting ideas.

The Ad+PR Plan

This Ad+PR plan was created for one purpose, to boost Big Brother Big Sister student involvement and/or volunteerism on WKU’s campus. This promotional plan will begin during the fall 2008 semester, starting at MASTER plan and continuing for another month. A calendar of events will be provided for exact days and their resulting events. The budgets for this is extremely low because we are mainly combining elements that are for the most part cost free. Costs are estimated to be below 500 dollars.

The book broke down into multiple events which spelled out the plan for each. I have decided to keep these out, but feel free to the select images to get an idea.