At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beyond the Classroom

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”- Winston Churchill

It’s a proven fact that mentoring helps kids stay in school, avoid risky behavior such as bullying, and that they grow up having more respect for family, peers and their community.

While children spend countless hours learning in the classroom, it’s important to recognize that having a role model and a friend, beyond the classroom, that they can talk to and share their experiences of growing up with, all within school grounds, can be a positive and life changing experience.

All over the country, for one hour a week during the school year, mentors from the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ In-School Mentoring Program, meet with their mentee and engage in activities such as board games, crafts or simply just hang out in the playground.

Being an In-School Mentor is about giving an hour of your time, once a week, to a child who is need of a little guidance and someone they can talk to about what’s going on in their day to day life. It’s about making that child feel special and that they truly matter while making a difference and most importantly -while having fun!

We know that In-School Mentoring makes a BIG difference because-

• 90% of mentors saw a positive change in the child they were mentoring
• 88% of students showed improved literacy skills
• 64% had developed higher levels of self-esteem

The proof is in the pudding! Check out our In- School Mentoring Program video to see how one simple hour can make a BIG change in a child’s life:

Looking to become an In-School Mentor or want more information on the program?
Visit our website page...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Tribute to Canadian Moms

“You are not perfect, but you are perfect for me!”

These are words of wisdom from my 8 year-old son that inspire me whenever self-doubt sets in – which I hate to admit happens more often than not.

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we are fortunate to meet and work with thousands of beautiful, courageous and incredible women across the country, also known as moms. These women want the best for their children. They worry and they fight to provide their children with as many skills and opportunities as possible to encourage them to reach their full potential.

It’s no wonder that they worry.

According to the Save the Children 2012 State of the World’s Mothers Annual Index, that helps document conditions for mothers and children in 165 countries and shows where mothers fare best and where they face the greatest hardships, Canada ranks 19th, behind countries like Estonia, Slovenia and Portugal.

The most recent data from Statistics Canada’s Women in Canada report states that working mothers still earn 25% less, on average, and still do approximately double on average, of the child and household related chores than dads. The same report also demonstrates that women account for more college and university graduates than men.

Why should we be concerned about the condition for mothers?

Providing mothers with access to education, economic opportunities and maternal and child health care, gives them and their children the best chance to survive, thrive and reach their full potential. By supporting mothers and improving their conditions, we can improve the lives and well-being of our children and, in turn, our communities.

Despite the worry and self-doubt, brave moms across the country reach out for support and with the help of over 27,000 volunteer mentors, they are providing new opportunities for their children. We, at Big Brothers Big Sisters are honored to know and work with these moms each and every day.

To all the Moms – we hope you put aside the self-doubt and worry this Mother’s Day. To everyone else, please take a moment to recognize and encourage all the mothers you know that work so hard.

If your mom was your mentor, please let her know! Visit the where you can leave a message to her.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bullies Called Him Pork Chop. He Took That Pain With Him And Cooked It Into This...

Shane Koyczan’s story is making world news and with over 8 million views on YouTube, his video which tells his story, is helping spread the word on bullying. Shane states that he was bullied a lot when he was a kid so he took that pain and made this remarkable video with the help of some remarkably talented people.

Please take a minute and view this powerful video, you will not be disappointed. (Don’t worry, it has a happy ending.)


• At 1:20, he reminds us all what we heard growing up.
• At 2:07, we meet another girl who was bruised by words.
• At 2:57, we learn why she's awesome.
• At 4:28, we learn how many kids have to deal with this every day.
• At 5:23, if you've been bullied, you need to hear these words.
• At 6:00, listen to these beautiful words.
• And at 6:49, gets to the point that everyone should take to heart.

Share with us how you’ve overcome or are overcoming bullying.

*On February 5th, 2013 a new national survey commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) and Invesco Canada LTD revealed that a strong majority of Canadians (78 per cent) believe that not enough is being done to stop bullying in their communities.

To read more on this survey please follow this link...