Defenders of Potential! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit and Washtenaw County have Merged!
YPSILANTI, MI – August 1st – Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Metro Detroit and Washtenaw County have officially merged today, creating Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Michigan. This merger allows the two organizations to triple the number of mentoring matches between adult volunteers (Bigs) and children (Littles) between the ages of 8 – 18, leverage and grow partnerships in a four county region (Washtenaw, Oakland, Macomb and Wayne), and provide additional programming and services to families and the community!
Our VISION to help all youth achieve their full potential and our MISSION to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth remain the same.
Jennifer Spitler, LMSW, now serves as the president and chief executive officer for the merged organization. Spitler has headed BBBS of Washtenaw County for twenty years and has a deep understanding of the needs of young people in Southeast Michigan.
“This merger is a historic moment for our two organizations,” said Spitler. “By coming together, we can better serve the thousands of young people in our region who are waiting for a mentor. We are excited to build on the success of both organizations and create an even stronger mentoring program for the future.”
The merger will result in additional opportunities and experiences for youth, improved offerings through implementation of best practices from both organizations, and an efficiency in operations. This means that BBBS of Southeast Michigan will be able to expand its reach into communities with new programming, and ultimately make an even greater impact on the lives of young people in the region. Through our combined efforts, we will empower more young people on their path to graduate high school with a plan for their future and a mentor whose impact will last a lifetime. In a world of causes, we make a difference by creating professionally supported, one-to-one matches for kids who want to realize their full potential!
“We are grateful for the support of our donors, volunteers, and community partners,” said Spitler. “With their help, we can make this merger a success and continue to change the lives of young people in Southeast Michigan.” BBBS of Southeast Michigan is also very thankful for the support and expertise from Dawda Mann and members of the team (Ed Dawda, Marc Salach and Elle Madsen) for their help with the merger.
Through matching young people with volunteers that can help them explore their interests with the benefit of BBBS staff support we can start to break down barriers associated with poverty, racism and trauma. Our work was urgent 100 years ago and is even more urgent today! BBBS of Southeast Michigan is looking forward to taking our work to the next level in our communities, neighborhoods and region!
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Michigan
Over 100 years ago, BBBS of America was founded as an innovative alternative to the juvenile justice system to create equity and empowerment for young people who needed us most. Today, this spirit drives us to become the foremost JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) youth empowerment organization. We operate under the belief that inherent in every child is incredible potential.
BBBS Metro Detroit in was formed in 1974 with the merger of five local Big Brother Big Sister organizations from throughout metro Detroit, with a focus on Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
BBBS Washtenaw County was established in 1991 as a sponsored program, under the trusteeship of Huron Service for Youth, and later under Help Source and in July of 2007, it became its own free-standing organization serving over 7,600 youth during the last 30 years.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Michigan is a nonprofit organization that provides one-to-one mentoring relationships to children in need. With the help of our Bigs, community sponsors, and generous corporate and individual donors, we are able to change the lives of young people in our region. We know that when youth are surrounded by consistent, caring adults in safe, developmental relationships, we can help create sparks to tap into those dreams, break down walls and build up confidence to explore how to reach for their goals and provide the support and encouragement that helps them to learn and grow. BBBS provides professional staff that recruit, enroll, match and support youth, volunteers and families to create and support developmental relationships. We believe that relationships are most meaningful when they are full of Empathy, Genuineness, and Unconditional Positive Regard.