Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC
Abbreviation BBBS of NYC
Motto The Power to Change Lives
Formation 1904
Type NGO
Purpose Mentoring
Headquarters New York, NY
  • New York, NY
Executive Director
Hector Batista
Parent organization

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in New York City, whose mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors that try to have a measurable impact on youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC is one of the oldest and largest youth mentoring organizations in the United States, and has served over 100,000 children since its founding in 1904.[1]


In 1904, a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Kent Coulter was seeing many boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these boys stay out of trouble, so in 1904, he set out to find volunteers and made his famous plea:

"There is only one possible way to save that youngster, and that is to have some earnest, true man volunteer to be his big brother. To look after him, to help him do right, to make the little chap feel that there is at least one human being in this great city who takes a personal interest in him, who cares whether he lives or dies. I call for a volunteer."

That marked the beginning of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and the Big Brothers movement.

When the first gentleman stood to volunteer, Big Brothers of New York City (the founding member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America) began. Coulter's audience, a New York City men's club of business and community leaders, immediately saw the strength of this brave new idea. By the end of the day, 39 men had volunteered, and thus 39 futures were salvaged.

By 1916, Big Brothers had spread to 96 cities across the country.

Eight years later, in June 1912, Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt helped to form the “Big Sisters” organization. In 1921, the Big Brother and Big Sister Federation incorporated in New York State.


Historical Timeline[edit]

  • 1902 Coulter, a court clerk, helps organize the first New York Children's Court, under Judge Julius Mayer; Ladies of Charity, later Catholic Big Sisters of New York, starts to befriend girls who come before the New York Children's Court
  • 1904 Ernest Coulter founds the organized Big Brothers movement by obtaining 39 volunteers, who each agree to befriend one boy
  • 1912 The New York Times reports Big Brothers activity in 26 cities
  • 1914 Ernest Coulter embarks on nationwide lecture tour on behalf of Big Brothers; planning begins for a national Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization
  • 1916 Big Brothers work spreads to 96 cities
  • 1917 The first national conference of Big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations is held in Grand Rapids, MI., leading to the later organization of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation
  • 1925 Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation holds its first conference for agency executives; President Calvin Coolidge becomes patron of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation
  • 1930 Six hundred delegates attend a Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation meeting in New York City
  • 1934 President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt become patrons of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Federation
  • 1940 National Committee on Big Brothers and Big Sisters service is created to continue to pursue the formation of a national group
  • 1948 Norman Rockwell produces the sketch that becomes a symbol for the Big Brothers Association
  • 1958 Big Brothers Association is chartered by Congress
  • 1970 Big Sisters International is incorporated
  • 1971 Big Brothers Association grows to 208 affiliates
  • 1977 Big Sisters International and Big Brothers Association merge, forming Big Brothers Big Sisters of America with 357 agencies, mostly independent agencies with their own nonprofit
  • 1990 Allan Luks takes over as Executive Director of Big Brothers Big sisters of NYC
  • 2004 Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City celebrates centennial anniversary
  • 2008 The Honorable Michael Corriero takes over as Executive Director
  • 2010 Jon May serves as interim Executive Director
  • 2010 Hector Batista takes over as Executive Director

Recent leadership[edit]

Hector Batista (2010-Present)[edit]

In October 2010, Hector Batista was appointed as the new Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. [2] Mr. Batista has devoted most of his life to public service, and has served as a leader of large government departments as well as non-profit and private organizations.

Mr. Batista began his career in the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, where over the course of nine years, he served as Director of Real Estate for the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, Director of Economic Development and Director of Development and Finance. He was later appointed by New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to serve as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

During his time in the private sector, Mr. Batista was the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Jeffrey M. Brown Associates, Builders and Construction Managers, where he was responsible for projects in eighteen states and an operating budget of $450 million.

Mr. Batista also served as Executive Vice President of the New York Metropolitan Region of the American Cancer Society, where he provided strategic and operational leadership through nearly 200 employees, 2000 volunteers and 12 offices in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County. He was a powerful voice in the successful campaign to ban smoking in most New York City restaurants and public places. He was also a strong advocate for improving the health of the City’s youth, by promoting better quality food in the schools and by reducing the sale of junk food.[3]

Before coming to Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, Mr. Batista spent several years as CEO of the Way to Work (formerly known as Vocational Foundation, Inc.), where he oversaw one of the nation’s leading youth workforce development programs.[4]

Mr. Batista’s long-standing commitment to youth is further exemplified by his serving on the boards of St. Francis College and Bishop Loughlin High School. He also sits on the Community Advisory Board for the Spanish language newspaper, El Diario/La Prensa and Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative, the nation’s boldest and most comprehensive effort to tackle the broad disparities slowing the advancement of black and Latino young men. He is a former Board Member of East Harlem School at Exodus House.

In 2011, Mr. Batista was named a recipient of the “EL Award” – a recognition given annually by El Diario La Prensa to the most outstanding men in New York’s Latino community.[5]

Jon May (2010–2010)[edit]

Jon May is CFO and partner at The CarbonNeutral Company Holdings, Inc., one of the world’s leading carbon offset and carbon management businesses. Jon joined The CarbonNeutral Company from carbon management business, GreenLife in 2008. Prior to GreenLife, Jon was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Catalytic Capital LLC, a venture capital and private equity firm. Previously Jon had been Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Triarc Companies, Inc., where he was responsible for merger identification and execution, corporate finance and planning. While at Triarc, Jon held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Arby's, Inc. from 1999 to 2001, and remained Chairman of Arby's from 2001 to 2004.[6] While CEO of Arby’s he had the opportunity to present charitable gifts at Big Brothers Big Sisters sites across the country. May has been a Board Member of BBBS of NYC since 1999 and was the acting Executive Director during 2010.

Michael A. Corriero (2008–2010)[edit]

In July, 2008, The Honorable Michael Corriero took over as Executive Director. Corriero served the people of New York for three decades, beginning as an Assistant District Attorney for New York County in 1969.

He was appointed to New York State Supreme Court (1989–90) and also served as a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York (1980–89). He lectured on criminal justice as an Adjunct Professor at Pace University (1976–94) and was an Assistant District Attorney for New York County (1969–73). He subsequently specialized as a private practitioner in all phases of criminal law (1973–80). Judge Corriero was also Assistant General Counsel to the Society of European Songwriters, Authors and Composers; a Legislative Assistant; and an Associate at Schiffmacher, Rochford & Cullen, a firm that specialized in municipal law.[7]

Allan Luks (1990–2008)[edit]

For more than two decades, Allan led major nonprofit institutions, receiving significant national and international recognition. He worked with the Alcoholism Council of New York, followed by The Institute for the Advancement of Health—focusing on how the mind affects the body, including the benefits experienced by helping others. In 1990, Allan became the Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, the oldest and largest mentoring organization, a post he held for 18 years.[8]

Currently Allan is a Senior Advisor for BBBS of NYC, and is a member of several Boards of Trustees for nonprofit organizations. He has published "Healing Power of doing Good," with Peggy Payne, on the "helper's high" obtained by helping others.[9]


Community & Special Priority Programs[edit]

Youth & volunteers meet anywhere, anytime (it's up to the adult mentor, the little brother or sister, and the parent/guardian). "Bigs" and "Littles" meet at least twice a month (usually on weekends) and spend time together one-to-one on their own, planning and participating in activities of their choice. The time commitment is eight hours per month, for one year.

Traditional Mentoring Program[edit]

The largest program, serving ages 7-17, work with adult mentors. Bronx and Queens Borough Partnership Program youth, who reside in underserved neighborhoods, meet with their mentors to explore the borough as well as other communities.

9/11 Together We Stand Program[edit]

In response to the tragic events of September 11, Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC initiated this program to provide long-term help for children who lost a parent or close relative in the World Trade Center attacks.

FDNY Partnership Program[edit]

The program is for youth who lost a parent in the FDNY line of duty, including, but not limited to September 11th. Mentors are men and women who are active or retired firefighters, those that work for the FDNY and are relatives of individuals in the FDNY.

New American Partnership[edit]

These youth are first generation Americans facing the challenge of balancing two worlds: the culture of their family and country of origin, and the culture of their school peers and New York City.

Young Mothers[edit]

Teenage mothers in need of a friend, as well as information on resources available to them.

Site Based[edit]

Programs meet regularly at a designated time at a specific location. They generally meet only during the school year and are supervised by an on-site social worker. Matches are one-to-one, with occasional group activities. School-Based Meet regularly at lunchtime at a school to spend time with a youth, helping with homework, discussing areas of interest, etc.


Meet regularly at lunchtime at a school to spend time with a youth, helping with homework, discussing areas of interest, etc.

Workplace Mentoring[edit]

Youth are brought on-site to corporate offices to meet one-to-one with working professionals, as well as gain exposure to the corporate world.

School-Based Corporate Program[edit]

A combination of the above two programs, working professionals from specific corporations visit youth on location at school for one-to-one mentoring time.

Juvenile Justice and Special Populations[edit]

The Juvenile Justice and Special Populations program includes youngsters who may have specific problems. However, they and their volunteers have the same requirements as Community-based programs.

Juvenile Justice Program[edit]

Serving first-time youth offenders and seeking volunteers to help turn these followers into leaders.

Mentoring Children of Promise Program[edit]

Provides friendship for youth ages 5 to 17 who have a parent and/or other household family member that is currently incarcerated.

Building Futures[edit]

For teens ages 13–18 phasing out of NYC's foster care system who are looking for a committed and consistent adult role model to provide emotional support as they strive for a positive future.

Volunteer Groups[edit]

Young Professionals Committee[edit]

Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City's Young Professionals Committee (YPC) is a diverse group of dedicated men and women who volunteer their time, talents and energy to support BBBS of NYC's many mentoring and educational programs.

Latino Bigs[edit]

Latino Bigs is a grassroots movement composed of socially conscious Latino volunteers and is part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC. Their mission is to empower the Latino community through one-to-one mentoring to ensure that Latino children in NYC have access to positive adult role models.

Bigs United[edit]

Bigs United is a passionate group of African American mentors and other dedicated volunteers who have launched an aggressive grassroots campaign to recruit additional African American volunteers to look out for youth coming up so they can look forward to brighter futures.

Asian Mentoring Committee[edit]

The Asian Mentoring Committee is a grass-roots movement composed of alumni, current, and prospective volunteers of Big Brothers Big Sisters of N.Y.C. focused on minority outreach.