Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $10,000

Based in St. Paul, serves the Twin Cities area. BBBS matches youth facing adversity with positive volunteer mentors to positively impact the youths’ lives. After Free Arts MN dissolved in 2017, BBBS adopted its curriculum and hired three of its staff. Free Arts of BBBS uses arts as a tool to support social-emotional development, providing arts education and mentoring for youth facing homelessness, mental health treatment, and therapy for abuse and extreme poverty.

Grant supports BBBS integrating Free Arts Minnesota’s programming into the long-standing Family Means after-school program in the manufactured home communities of Cimarron in Lake Elmo and Landfall, both in the eastern suburbs of Washington County. BBBS will provide weekly Free Arts sessions at both sites during the school year. The program will recruit volunteer adult mentors, as well as provide opportunities for high school students to serve as mentors.