School-based Mentoring – Frequently Asked Questions

How do you decide which child I’ll be working with?

We get to know you as well as the children in our program through super detailed interviews. All this great information - likes, dislikes, personalities and communication style - is taken into account when we decide which volunteer gets matched with which child at our schools.   

How do I get to the school?

  • Milwaukee Schools: Several mentors all come to the same schools at the same times and make arrangements to ride the city bus together. You are responsible for figuring out how to get yourself there. However, returning mentors from your school and our staff can help guide you towards what bus to take when.
  • Waukesha Schools: All Waukesha BBBS mentoring sites are in schools in walking distance from campus! Some volunteers even walk together. Once you come to site, you can make these arrangements if interested.

How do I get to know the child?

You will be provided with some get to know you questions that will help you break the ice in talking with the child. Most important is for you to show genuine interest and acceptance, giving them your undivided attention and unconditional support.    

What will the hour I spend with the child include?

At first, the most important thing will be getting to know one another. After a few meetings together, you and the child will talk about some basic goals that you want to work towards together – you’ll be given some tools to help you do this. As you start settling in to your time together, you’ll be helping the child with their homework, doing short activities and playing games together, and talking together about school, friends and hobbies.

What do I do when I’m really busy with exams and stuff?

You plan around them so you can still show up every week – this child is depending on you to be a stable and supportive force in their life!

How do I get advice and support I need?

  • Attend an Orientation Session: You will receive some dates and times of sessions happening at your university that will be led by our staff. They will give you great information to help you be successful.
  • Talk to Big Brothers Big Sisters Staff:  Whether it’s the School Monitor you’ll see every time you come to your school, the Match Support Specialist who will communicate regularly with you about how your match is going, or the School Coordinator who oversees the overall mentoring program at your school, BBBS is here for you!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions: We don’t expect you to be an expert on every topic that may come up while working with your child. We truly want you to be comfortable asking us anything so we can support you.
  • Share the good stuff, too:  We love to hear your mentoring stories! Please share details as you grow in your relationship with the child you will be working with.