Local Big Brothers Big Sisters Disaffiliates with National Association, Changes Name

| May 24, 2018

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – After 24 years of serving the community as an affiliate of Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Oil Region has disaffiliated from the organization’s National Association.

[PHOTO: Captured during a recent Brothers Big Sisters of America “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” fundraiser.]

“Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Oil Region has been a positive force in the lives of children in our area since 1994,” said the organization in a release issued to the media. “While we have enjoyed our partnership with BBBSA over the years, and we take have benefited in gaining knowledge and experience, we feel it is time to start a new venture on our own.”

The Governing Board of Directors of Family Service & Children’s Aid Society (FSCAS) and staff have decided to move forward with implementing a new mentoring model. While the name change will have minimal effect on the organization’s community-based mentoring program, the organization feels this is the most cost-effective way to best fit the needs of the community.

“Adopting a new model will give us greater control over the costs associated with our service delivery and will allow us to operate more efficiently for the families we serve,” the release stated.

Beginning July 1, 2018, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Oil Region will officially be known as “Youth Connection.”

The organization will continue operating as a program under the umbrella of Family Service & Children’s Aid Society. In 1994, FSCAS recognized the need for mentors in Venango and Forest County and has since then expanded the mentoring services to include Clarion and Eastern Crawford Counties.

Youth Connection will receive support from a new program partner – The Mentoring Partnership of Southwest PA – which will allow the organization to receive training and technical assistance on various aspects of program development and implementation.

“We are very excited about this new opportunity to partner with the Mentoring Partnership and feel this is going to be the best opportunity for our community to provide local youth with a screened, trained, and supervised mentor that they want and need,” said Jessica Walters, Program Director.

Walters says Youth Connection’s vision will be “To help youth realize and reach their dreams through the guidance of a professionally supported mentoring relationship.”

“Our goal remains the same to provide a mentoring program that ‘connects’ youth to a mentor who encourages self-confidence, good behavior, and enthusiastic performance in school,” the release stated. “We have enjoyed the established relationships that we have formed within the communities that we serve and look forward to continuing those and forming new relationships in the future.”

Youth Connection can be reached at 814-676-9940 ext. 28.

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