Our History

40 years!

Serving youth in St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River Counties since 1984

Since opening its doors in St. Lucie County in 1984, Big Brothers Big Sisters has more than doubled its capacity, serving 648 children in 2003 to 1,792 children in 2014 and 837 children/youth served in 2022-2023.

BBBS is governed by a Corporate Board of nine officers and directors. Indian River and Okeechobee Counties have Advisory Boards with representation on the Corporate Board.

School-Based Program Achievements at a Glance
Improved pre-to-post test scores
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Improved grades
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Improved attendace
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Improved conduct
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100+ years of national history

For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. And we have over a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates just like you to thank.

It all started in 1904 when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers.

That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement. At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.

Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And, today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states—and in 12 countries around the world.