2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of BIG mentoring programs in Canada. In 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom, he recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.
At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.
Their neighbours to the north followed suit 9 years later and we are grateful to these visionaries for beginning what is one of the most powerful and widespread social movements worldwide.
Throughout our history, the focus has been on ensuring that young people feel supported, that they have positive role models, and that they have the tools and resources they need to be successful.