Big Buddies

Big Buddies is a child-centered service program that reaches out to the community by providing positive role models for elementary school children from the ages of 6-10 (Little Buddies Program) and middle school children from the ages of 11-14 (Middle Buddies Program). Big Buddies operates on Monday nights from 5:30pm-7:30pm in the Orton Center at the University of Redlands Main Campus. 

The program is structured as a group-on-group setting, with one-on-one pairings. This system expands the role model influence to many different types of college students from the University of Redlands. The program invites children from local communities to participate. Due to the 2023-2024 academic year coming to an end, Big Buddies will begin accepting new students in September 2024. If you would like be contacted for availability in Big Buddies this fall, please complete this interest form.

Program Resources

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Sample Itinerary: 

5:30 pm: Opening group activity  

6:00 pm: Weekly thematic mentor activity 

7:30 pm: Pick Up  

Mentor Onboarding Process

In order to become a Big Buddies mentor, University of Redlands students must complete an application and interview that takes place during the first month of each semester. View the steps below to learn more information about this process. 

Step 1: Mentor Application

Those interested in becoming a Big Buddies mentor will complete an application at the beginning of the academic year in which they would like to participate in the program. After the application is submitted, the Big Buddies Student Directors will contact the applicant to schedule an in-person interview. 

Step 2: Interview

The Student Directors will conduct a 30 minute in-person interview to determine if the applicant will be an effective mentor for the children in the program. The Student Directors will contact the applicant within one week of the interview regarding the status of their application. 

Step 3: Background Check and Mandated Reporter Training

In order to verify that the college mentors have clear credentials to serve with the Big Buddies program, the names of each applicant are run through the Student Affairs Office for a university/disciplinary check as well as a background check with Sterling Volunteers. After an applicant is formally offered the mentor position, they must complete and submit their background check and mandated reporter training to the Director of Children's Programs within five days of receiving them. 

Step 4: Mentor Training

After the background check and mandated reporter training are submitted, the mentor must attend additional mentor training facilitated by the Student Directors. The training will educate mentors on their role and responsibilities as well as the daily activities of the program. 

Step 5: Start Date

Once a mentor completes their training with the Student Directors, they can officially participate in the Big Buddies program.