Our Traditional Mentoring Program matches children between the ages of 7 and 15 (and 4 to 18 if the child has a parent/guardian who is incarcerated), in long-term, one-to-one relationships with adult volunteer mentors. While “matches” may formally remain in the program until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, many of their relationships will last a lifetime.

To volunteer as a mentor you must be:

  • At least 19 years old
  • Open minded and non-judgmental
  • Open to diversity (race, ethnicity, culture, religion, class and sexual orientation)
  • Willing to commit to a minimum of one year to the program (or three semesters if college student)
  • Able to spend three or four hours each week or every other week with a child
  • Able to establish and maintain a one-to-one relationship with a child
  • Able to access an insured car or willing to take public transportation

A prospective mentor participates in a thorough interview so that the

program coordinator can get to know you (the child and their family

also does the same). The aim is to make the best match possible—pairing a child sharing similar interests with the mentor’s skills and experience. Mentors also provide references, and the agency orders a criminal background check.

The initial commitment for a mentor is for one year. Visits with the child are three to four hours either weekly or bi-weekly. With the emphasis on building a relationship, the agency encourages no- or low-cost activities. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State even provides a free monthly activity

open to all matches.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State offers traditional one-to-one mentoring with three special-focus variations and two group programs. To learn more about these different programs and which might best match your skills and strengths, please click here.


To volunteer your time as a Big Brother or Big Sister, please call 401.921.2434, Ext. 101 or email Mentoring@bbbsos.org.

You can also fill out our Volunteer Inquiry Form and submit it online. A Representative from BBBSOS will contact you within 48 hours to assist you in moving forward with the next steps.