Big Bother and Big Sister

Topics: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Irvin F. Westheimer, Sibling Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: May 10, 2013
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) is the largest youth mentoring organization in the United States. The organization provides one-to-one mentoring relationships between children and adults. Its purpose is to provide friendship, emotional support, and guidance to youth through their involvement with positive role models. BBBSA's national motto is "making a difference, one child at a time." According to the Big Brother Big Sister Association of Cincinnati, the idea of developing one-to-one mentoring relationships can be traced back to 1903. Irvin Wertheimer, a Cincinnati businessman, is acknowledged as the creator of the Big Brother/Big Sister concept. He had seen a young boy and his dog scrounging for food in a trash can. Wertheimer introduced himself and gave the boy a meal. When he met the boy's poverty-stricken family, Weistheimer learned that the boy's hardship was caused by his father's recent death. He soon became the boy's trusted mentor. Westheimer knew that there were numerous other children throughout the city that would benefit from having a mentor. "Relating his story to a group of young men at his home in Cincinnati, Westheimer proposed forming an 'association with the view of bettering the conditions for the large number of neglected or delinquent Jewish boys in Cincinnati.' They agreed then to become guardians of individual boys who required special act as 'Big Brothers' to each of them" (Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Cincinnati). Then, in 1920, Westheimer founded the Big Brother Association of Cincinnati. In 1904, Ernest Coulter, a court clerk in New York City, started New York Big Brothers. Like Westheimer, Coulter was distressed over the anguish and misery of children in the city. "Coulter had observed that many boys passing through the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Courts came from fatherless homes. He reasoned that a man's influence could help to curb their abnormal and sometimes criminal behavior. Coulter...
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