Current Projects

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County

This project paused in 2017 to evaluate outcomes and goals as we witnessed a plateau in matches. After a thorough evaluation, it was determined that the project would conclude earlier than expected.  However, a potential partnership in the future with new goals and outcomes has not been ruled out.  Our successes with Big Brothers Big Sisters should be celebrated.  In our 2.5 year partnership, together we have grown from 3 youth being mentored in the North County to 60!  In that time, Big Brothers Big Sisters opened an office in Paso Robles, hired a full time marketing manager, and most recently was honored with The California Big Brother of the Year award for a match made possible by must! charities. 

Children who have positive role models are more likely to succeed than those who do not. Big Brothers Big Sisters' one-to-one mentoring services are proven to help children overcome adversity and beat the odds. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network. The University of Colorado's Center for Study and Prevention of Violence found that Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program is one of 11 outstanding violence and drug prevention programs that meet a high scientific standard of effectiveness. 


Currently there are 34 kids in the North County waiting for a mentor.

Last year in the entire county there were requests for 179 youth, and only 49 available volunteers in San Luis Obispo County.

40 North County parents asked for a Big Brother/Big Sister last year.  Only 12 volunteers were available.  – 8 girls and only 4 boys received a mentor in 2013.

Local drug problems among youth are increasing throughout San Luis Obispo County, and appear to be more prevalent in the North County.

Local gang-related issues continue to raise concerns in our community.  With the realignment act, over the course of the next few years, we will see an increase in parolees in our communities who have strong gang ties.

With the high cost of living in our county, many parents are working multiple jobs and are too busy or exhausted to mentor even their own children.  Children often go on their own, searching for belonging and acceptance.

Truancy rates among freshmen continue to increase. Students have an increased apathetic attitude and just don’t care anymore.
Many youth today face adversity in their lives and are searching for an outlet of hope and happiness. While countywide there has been a decrease in domestic violence calls, there is an increase in domestic violence calls in Paso Robles & Atascadero. 

Higher class sizes doesn’t allow for a close/mentor relationships with students and average students can easily begin to slip through the cracks going unnoticed.

Family advocates (social workers) employed through CAPSLO & other agencies have caseloads that are ever increasing and take cases based on need.  This method allows for many youth to be forgotten, who still need guidance and support.

The percentage of children under age 18 living below the Federal Poverty Level in SLO County trends upwards.  Statistics show in order to break a cycle of poverty, one from another socio-economic class needs to reach out to them.

2014 has resulted in 3 youth receiving a mentor in the North County.

Limited resources force Big Brothers Big Sisters to focus on maintaining youth services, rather than volunteer outreach and recruitment in the north county.

Our Commitment

must! charities, through a 10-month vetting process, recognizes the ability and desire Big Brothers Big Sisters has to address mentoring needs in the North County.  The North County comprises 22% of the total county population and arguably is the region with one of the highest needs in our county. Currently the North County makes up only 10% of the youth being served by Big Brothers Big Sisters, with a waiting list to serve more.

We kicked off a 4 year, $253,000 - $273,000 commitment with Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLO County. must! charities has come along side Big Brothers Big Sisters with financial and business expertise that will allow them to have a greater impact in the region that is needed most.  The goal is to grow the North County reach from the 10% that it represents now, to a realistic number based on community need.  Part of this gifting includes a sustainable business plan in place (strategically decreasing our gift over the 4 years) so that when must! charities’ commitment is fulfilled, Big Brothers Big Sisters SLO County is in a place to support and sustain continued growth for the north county region. 

  • Invest funding in a full-time Community Based Coordinator to create and sustain matches in the North County. This staff member will spend the majority of their time in a North County office, ideally located within an easy distance for families and volunteers to participate in interviews, trainings and match meetings. 
  • Invest funding for 5 hours per week in a Program Director who is currently located in the SLO office.
  • Invest in Non-personnel funding that would cover occupancy, accident insurance, background checks, office equipment, phone, mileage and program supplies.
  • Invest in Indirect costs such as time for the development director to coordinate events for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the North County.
  • Invest financially in a promotional video (or 2) that shows the must! partnership and has a call to action to bring awareness to the cause.
  • Invest in Press/Media & Public Speaking Professional Training for all Big Brothers Big Sisters staff to make the most of every press & public speaking opportunity that open up.
  • Invest time of a must! program manager/liaison who will handle warm introductions in the North County, Attend all Big Brothers Big Sisters monthly board meetings, make sure quarterly benchmarks are being met so that funding can continue, and oversee the project entirely.
  • Warm introductions will be made to current must partners interested in getting involved, or having their staff involved as mentors, community based organizations, faith based organizations, potential board members
  • Benchmarks to be met will include strategic business plans for the organization, realistic growth expectations (serving more youth), and an overall sustainable business plan in place so that when must! charities’ commitment is up, Big Brothers Big Sisters SLO County is in a place to support and sustain continued growth for the north county region.

Project Progress


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