Our service area includes Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy and Marion Counties.


The Bigs Inspiring Scholastic Success (BISS) Program is a program that provides long-term, one-to-one mentoring to children who have been identified as at-risk for unsuccessful school performance due to a lack of asset development in academics, behavior, or study skills. Mentoring takes place in the school setting and focuses on classroom-related skills and assets. Volunteer mentors strengthen academic skills, encourage conflict resolution and positive interpersonal skills, teach effective study skills, nourish self-confidence, and foster an appreciation for goal setting. There is a minimum of a one (1) academic year commitment between and mentor and a child.


As a volunteer through BISS Plus you must be at least 18 years old, have reliable, insured transportation, and be willing to commit four (4) hours or more a month for a minimum of one (1) year.  The BISS volunteer meets each week with a Little Brother/Sister at the youth’s school or after-school program. In addition to visiting with the Little, the Big has the opportunity to spend time with the Little outside of the school setting. This is a great way for the Big to encourage hobbies and outside interests while sharing a one-to-one relationship with his/her Little.


The Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) Program provides long-term, one-to-one mentoring to children who need and want a mentor. This program operates during non-school hours, and the mentors typically spend time with the children on the weekends or weeknights. These volunteers make a one-year commitment to spend six hours per month with the child and build a relationship, which increases the opportunity for positive social involvement, bonding to positive adults, and the development of healthy beliefs and clear standards. Through the personal guidance of a positive role model and the close supervision of professional staff, children are encouraged to focus on their strengths and build from there. The program’s purpose is to build confidence and character in children so they can develop into empowered adults who have the resilience and strength to make positive life choices.


The Mentoring Children of Promise (MCOP) Program provides children of incarcerated parents and/or siblings with long-term, one-to-one mentoring.  This program operates through the School, Site and Plus Programs, or the Community Based Mentoring Program.


Our newest program, YWOI Juvenile Offender Program is designed to help juvenile offenders youth ages 14-22 receive workplace development. The program’s goal will be to provide youth with access to employment, education, training, internship and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Mentors for this program must be 21+ years old and at least five years older than their Little.


The Couples Mentoring (CM) Program provides an opportunity for couples to give long-term, one-to-one mentoring to children, ideally siblings in the same family, who need and want a mentor.  This program can operate through the Bigs Inspiring Scholastic Success, Bigs Inspiring Scholastic Success Plus Programs, the Community Based Mentoring Program, or through the Sports Buddies Program.  Please see those program description for more details.