Making the Ozarks Better Forever

Mentoring is the best tool we have to fight the poverty cycle.

At BBBSO, we fight poverty upstream through bonding and bridging social capital. By working with kids now, we create the opportunity for awesome futures. Our community supports our mission and knows that mentoring pays dividends. That's why we enjoy the support of local government, local law enforcement agencies, and local businesses both big and small. The youth in our programs will grow up to be the adults we all want to live and work with.

The BIG Impact Challenge

We’re starting a movement with Springfield’s largest, most powerful organizations (Jack Henry, SRC, the City of Springfield, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Springfield Public School, Springfield Police Department, the Venues—and many, many more) leading by example and accepting the Big Impact Challenge to bring quality mentors to our community youth. Our model is a lot like what Northwest Project is doing for poverty in Springfield, but we’re focusing on ending generational poverty. The vast majority of experts agree that mentoring is the most effective tool we have in fighting poverty. We’re collaborating, communicating, and committing long term to this fight. If you accept the challenge, we’re going to reach your business/organization’s goal together. We’ll even provide onsite orientations for your employees and coworkers.

Bigs in Blue

The Ozarks area is facing staggering increases in poverty rates. Within the past 7 years, our poverty rate in Springfield has risen to an incredible 26%. Poverty is directly correlated with crime, and Springfield routinely ranks in the top 10 for the most dangerous mid sized cities in America. With crime comes more interactions with law enforcement. Over 1/4 of all of our Littles have one or more incarcerated parents. Unfortunately, the perception of law enforcement for our families is shaped by the only interactions they know. Through Bigs in Blue, we aim to juxtapose the idea of an officer entering a neighborhood or a school to mentor a friend next to the current negative schema. This flow of schema change is a two-way street: often our officers only know the crime in our poverty stricken community and not the people living in it. We aim for more empathetic law enforcement through our Bigs in Blue program.