Big Futures Helping Students Prepare for Life Beyond High School

When we sit back and reflect on our lives, we have to realize that everyone has their own individual story to tell.  Whether it was a close family member, friend, or co-worker, many of us had someone in our corner, pushing us to be our best selves. Often, these influential people don’t come with the official mentor title, but that’s what they were. They guided us through LIFE’S CHALLENGES, FIRST EXPERIENCES, and HELPED US FIND OUR WAY in life, SCHOOL, WORK and so much more. They listened without judgment, providing another perspective as we navigated our own life journey.

Backed by research, mentors make lasting impacts on our lives. As our community examines the violence and divide in our own backyards, you might consider adding mentor to your resume.

With our next generation in the wings, our community has come to realize that Tallahassee DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH skilled trade workers to support our growing city. To help meet this need, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend is excited to introduce their newest program: Big Futures. This program will allow them to expand their services while preparing Littles for life beyond high school. Big Futures mentors will support 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students at Rickards and Goby high school by providing guidance with educational and career decisions. With this program, BBBS of the Big Bend hopes to propel students towards a sustainable income by helping students transition into college, the military, or directly into the workforce following graduation.

Big Futures Mentors will set youth up for success by assisting with career planning, post-secondary education enrollment, applying for financial aid, developing workplace skills, applying for scholarships, writing resumes and developing interview skills.  BBBS will accomplish this in several ways:

  • Providing matches with a guidebook for both Littles and Big
  • Offering workshops and special field trips
  • Providing exclusive access to intern/externships and apprenticeships

When designing this program locally, Big Brothers Big Sisters reached out to the Greater Tallahassee Chamber to fully understand their goal and Initiative of Talent 2030. It was this that helped them establish the groundwork for their Mentor Guidebook and incorporated the TalentHub platform into the curriculum of this program.

“We were excited when Big Brothers Big Sisters approached us about their new mentoring program.  It is an honor to be among the first businesses to partner with their new career and college readiness program. Mentoring and coaching these high school students, who are the future of the Tallahassee workforce, is a win-win for our business. Not only will our team members have an opportunity to support these students on a personal level, but the students will learn about working in the HVAC industry through hands-on activities and field trips to see our team in action,” said Patrick Barineau, President of Barineau Heating & Air Conditioning.

Defending a child’s potential is what we do day in and day out here at BBBS.  With the help of our mentors, we are committed to helping youth achieve future success.  As the nation’s largest volunteer-supported mentoring network, “The Big Futures program was a no-brainer”, said Molly Lord, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend. “After learning about this additional program nationwide, it was important for me to bring this to the students here in our region. We talked to a few local businesses and they too saw the impact this program would have on the next generation of candidates entering our local workforce and community.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for 40 mentors to work with the high schoolers in the Big Futures program in an effort to help them achieve post-secondary success.  Additionally, there are currently 60 other Kindergarten through 8th-grade students waiting for mentors as well.

The Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID Coordinator, Early Hankerson at Rickards High School said, “Big Futures is a great opportunity to support our youth. The need for mentorship is absolutely needed, but to also have mentorship within specific areas of expertise is a bonus. This is a necessity for our students and we feel this will prove to be a great partnership.”

The time is now, if you have what it takes to defend potential and inspire future leaders, please join us and sign up today at to ensure every child has a BIG Future.