Pioneering the future
Flex Mentoring is our innovative online mentoring program matching volunteers 1:1 with local high school students. It offers volunteers the flexibility to mentor on their own time and build personal connections with students across distances. With the support of their mentors, students in this program build a plan for their future, exploring post-secondary education and career options. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago is the first in the nation to utilize the iCouldBe mentoring platform and curriculum to develop this new e-Mentoring program.
Mentors and students in our Flex Mentoring program commit to their mentoring relationship for at least 3 semesters (1.5 years). The mentoring program is embedded within the students’ school day. Students sign online weekly to complete structured mentoring activities that focus on relationship building, educational & career success.
Mentors spend about an hour a week replying to student activities and emails; communication is asynchronous so mentors have the flexibility to respond whenever it is convenient! All online communication takes place through a secured, monitored platform.
Three times per school year the mentoring pairs meet in-person for fun relationship-building activities and field trips. Each pair is assigned a BBBSMC coordinator who supports the relationship development and monitors student success.
We launched our initial two pilot sites in February 2016 and added an additional five program sites this school year. We’re grateful for the generous support of Baxter who provided seed funding to launch this program and to Altria whose funding allowed us to expand to new sites this year. Additional funding for this program is provided by Accenture, CDW, HSBC, the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs.
The following partners provide mentors and students for our Flex Mentoring programs.
Accenture, Allstate, AT&T, Baxter, BBBSMC Leadership Board, CDW, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, HSBC, PepsiCo & The PrivateBank
Curie Metro High School, Hubbard High School, Kennedy High School, Richards High School, Round Lake High School, Tilden Career Community Academy & UIC College Prep