Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mass. Bay Updates Its Name

December 10, 2019 — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides adult mentors to help youth reach their full potential, today announced it has changed its name to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts, a move spurred to better reflect its regional growth in recent years.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts (BBBSEM) said that, over the last two years, it has expanded to serve youth in Lowell, Lawrence, Brockton, Plymouth and the Southcoast regions, serving youth across Eastern Massachusetts.

“While our name is changing to reflect our expanded geography and drive to serve more youth, our mission remains the same,” says Wendy Foster, BBBSEM president and chief executive officer. “Families that are struggling and communities that are under resourced often can’t provide their kids with the adult support they need to develop the skills and confidence to become successful adults. We work to create those opportunities for kids to ensure they can reach their fullest potential.”

During the 11 years Foster has served as president, BBBSEM saw the number of youth served more than double.

Later this month, the nonprofit will move its headquarters from Federal Street to High Street, a change driven by the need to counter rising rents. BBBSEM said the move will serve as a greater hub for staff to support mentors, mentees, and their families.

“Since Wendy began working at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts in 2005, the organization has more than doubled the number of children served, expanded geographically, increased diverse volunteer recruitment, secured strong financial support to facilitate more expansion, and become the leading one-to-one mentoring program in New England,” says Peter Campanella, board chair at BBBSEM. “This name change reflects all those efforts to reach as many youth as possible.”

BBBSEM, an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, is distinct from Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, a nonprofit that provides girls with mentoring relationships with women.

A national study of 950 youth from eight Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies found that:
  • 76% of Littles (mentees) said their Big (mentors) helped them learn right from wrong
  • 90% of Littles said their Big relationship helped them make better choices in life
  • 77% of Littles reported doing better in school because of their Big
  • 96% of Littles advanced to the next grade level
BBBSEM was founded in 1949 as an organization serving fatherless boys in Boston. In 2006, it merged with Cape & Islands Big Brothers Big Sisters and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Attleboro, and changed its name to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. In recent years it expanded to serve the Greater New Bedford and Merrimack Valley regions.

BBBSEM said it will serve 4,000 youth in 150 communities this year, and, by 2022, aims to reach 5,000 youth across the region.