Mentoring Through Young Adulthood

In our Big Futures program, your child maintains an ongoing mentoring relationship with his or her Big after high school graduation or age 18, when the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters program ends. This extended relationship with a Mentor provides support to older youth as they navigate one of the most pivotal times in their lives – the transition into young adulthood.

Helping students prepare for success doesn’t just mean college-prep work, however. Big Futures focuses on providing guidance and connections to community resources to Mentees as they work toward one of the three “Es” – Education, Enlistment, or Employment – with the goal of ensuring that they are prepared to attend college, enter the workforce, or enlist in military service after high school, and ultimately become self-sustenance by the age of 25.

Match Support Specialists will help program participants increase their awareness of and access to the information, community resources, and training opportunities that help them reach their individual goals. Little Brothers and Sisters find the most useful resources for their individual needs, enabling them to access information on job readiness, resume building, college degree requirements, work and life skills, or enlistment requirements.

By extending the match relationship into the transitional years of young adulthood, Big Futures provides Littles with stability, support, and guidance as they begin to expand their knowledge of the larger world and find their unique place within it.

Read the latest news and updates about our Big Futures program here.

To learn more, please contact Christina Eisenlord, Big Futures Program Manager, at 512-807-3611 or


“The Big Futures Program helps especially in terms of getting assistance with school, jobs, etc. Christina Eisenlord is always so helpful in sending me things like scholarship lists, and job fair announcements. That makes a big difference and is a great source of information and opportunities!” — Mentee Zach

“The move to another state brought its own set of challenges. The Big Futures Program provided me with resources during this hard, abrupt transition, especially during the pandemic.” — Mentee Kirida

“Christina Eisenlord reaches out like clockwork to make sure I’m okay and see if I need anything. I definitely appreciate her support and help through this process.” — Mentee Jaylon

“I’ve been a Big Brother in both the typical BBBS program and now in the Big Futures program for the past 3+ years. It has been a great experience; from the first introduction with my Little, who became a great friend and part of my family, to being supported with expertise and excellent programs to help him navigate growing up, to the ongoing connection with have with our current Match Support Specialist, Christina. Overall, I have been pleased with and have felt very well supported and encouraged by the program.” — Mentor Tom

Community Partners & Resources

Partnerships with the following community colleges, universities, and trade schools offer opportunities and scholarships to our Mentees. Together, we also help participates gain work experience through internships and job shadowing, learn about various career paths, and develop professional skills, career readiness, and financial literacy.

A significant role played by the Big Futures Program is connecting Mentees with resources that address their particular needs and goals. The following nonprofit organizations and professional services can help youth with career and educational readiness as they transition to adulthood.

ACC Ascender – A program that is available to all first-year Austin Community College students. Students will receive one-on-one mentoring to help guide them along their first year of college, help with confronting any obstacles in their way and support with things like financial aid, the DACA process, leadership training, college tours and conferences and seminars. Ascender students will also gain a peer support network and a social outlet as well as an opportunity to attend events and Latinx cultural celebrations.

Ascender welcomes any of our Mentees to take advantage of their workshops, informational sessions, and events like Career Day. If a Big Futures Mentee would like to have their BBBS Mentor in the Ascender program with them, Ascender can accommodate.

Blue Collar Recruiter – Blue Collar Recruiter’s Virtual Trade School offers skilled trades training for entry level jobs in the HVAC, plumbing or electrical trades. To do this, they have partnered with Interplay Learning, the leading global provider of online, 3D simulation/virtual reality training for these essential skilled trades and all coursework is presented online by industry experts. Students will have access to all the curriculum for 12 months to complete the coursework and most students can finish in under three months.

The Blue Collar Recruiter & Virtual Trade School is excited to not only provide a pathway to the trades but are also thrilled to offer 6 scholarships: 2 in HVAC, 2 in Electrical and 2 in Plumbing, for full tuition to their program for Mentees in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Futures program in Austin.

Builders FirstSource – Builders FirstSource is the nation’s largest supplier of structural building products, value-added components, and services to the professional market for new residential construction and repair and remodeling.

Builders FirstSource is partnering up with our BBBS Big Futures program to offer an employment path to those Mentees who are looking to secure employment with a living wage as well as a path upwards towards higher pay and increased responsibility. Builders FirstSource will be offering all BBBS Big Futures Mentees priority for interviews as well as support with building resumes.

Park University – Park University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, liberal arts institution whose flagship campus is in Parkville, MO but they also have a campus in Austin.

In this partnership, Park will provide a smooth transition and experience for BBBS Mentees, Mentors and Staff to earn postsecondary credentials from Park University. Those credentials may include associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificates or professional certifications in the areas needed for their professional development. BBBS Mentees, Mentors and Staff will receive a 10% tuition discount (off the current standard rates) for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Park will waive its application fee for all Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas employees, volunteers, and participants.

SID Center – SID Centers is a next-generational mentoring program that is available to kids ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-24 and their mission is to use multiple key areas taught by dedicated mentors to enhance the knowledge of every student they serve. Kids receive group-type mentoring and young adults receive one-on-one mentoring that focuses on 4 key developmental areas, physical development, social development, intellectual development, and emotional development. Within those key areas, Mentees will have the opportunity to build their skills and strengths in areas like leadership, finance, physical and mental health, spirituality, and self-worth.

SID Centers has opened their doors to welcome any of our Mentees to take advantage of their curriculum, workshops, and events as well as any of their additional services.

Truist – Truist is a purpose-driven financial services company, formed by the merger of BB&T and SunTrust.

Truist will bring financial resources and knowledge to our BBBS Big Futures community. They will provide interactive tools and training programs to increase financial knowledge and to provide our Mentees with the tools they need to become more informed consumers and with the knowledge and insight people need to take control of their financial futures.

X Factor Consultants – X Factor Consultants is a digital design and consulting company. Their cross-disciplinary team consists of leading industry specialists from the web, security, communications, and marketing sectors that combine their skills to provide next-level consulting services to businesses and non-profits in a broad variety of industries.

X Factor Consultants provides a virtual career readiness workshop for our Mentees. This workshop provides Mentees with a foundational understanding of what applying for a job is like, what employers are thinking, and how they can use this knowledge to get ahead. This workshop will also provide resources to talk more effectively with Mentees about applying for jobs and being in the workforce.


What type of communication will we have with BBBS in the Big Futures Program?

  • Match updates will continue with the Big and the Mentee on a quarterly basis.
  • Match updates will not be required from Parent/Guardian, unless Mentee:
    • Is under age 18
    • Specifically requests that we remain in contact with Parent/Guardian
  • We will share information about the program with Parent/Guardian at the time the Match transitions to Big Futures, but we will no longer be reaching out for updates from them.
  • Match updates and our communication will focus more on the Mentee’s future – employment, education, goals/plans, etc. and less on their match activities and outings.
  • The match relationship may look different – it will likely be less about the match relationship, how much time is spent and the activities you do together and more about how we’re supporting our Mentees toward their future plans and goals.

Will Big Futures matches have to abide by the same agency policies/guidelines as matches in BBBS general mentoring programs?

Matches in Big Futures will be required to communicate with each other, continue building their relationship and maintaining communication with BBBS.  Beyond that, BBBS will be reviewing current program standards/rules and adjusting for Big Futures matches. Some examples of areas to address:

  • Overnight visits
  • May be allowed in certain instances for BF matches. Must check with your MSS before any take place.
  • Drinking/Smoking
  • Rules may be adjusted for Mentees who have reached legal age.

These are simply examples of the areas we need to explore, and opportunities to adjust our guidelines for matches in which mentee is now an adult.

How do we motivate matches to continue developing their relationship when they’re not meeting as consistently or live in different areas (ex. Mentee is in college out of state)? 

Our hope for these Matches is to continue supporting and building a mentoring relationship toward success.  For these Matches, this relationship may look very different, so we will focus on maintaining consistent communication, as well as coaching/guiding toward future aspirations and goals.  In-person meetings may be less frequent, but match participants should maintain regular communication to keep their relationship strong.

Will matches be required to continue with Grant Reporting or BBBS Surveys?

Once officially in Big Futures, Matches will no longer be required to report for grants (specific number of meetings or hours) or complete regular BBBS surveys (Strength of Relationship, Youth Outcomes Survey, RPI, etc.).  However, we will be developing an outcomes survey specific to Matches in the Big Futures program and Matches will be asked to complete this, as well as keep Big Futures staff updated on their relationship, Mentee’s status in relation to the 3 E’s, etc.

What types of outcomes will we be tracking?

BBBS will be developing various methods of supporting and tracking progress of Mentees, including development of an Outcome Survey as well as various outcome metrics, that may include:

  • Is Mentee “on track” with:
    • Education: enrolled or enrolling in post-secondary education (2yr, 4yr, trade school, certification program, etc.)
    • Employment: setting career goals, building job skills, resume-building, etc.
    • Enlistment: considering or enlisting in military service
  • Living Situation
  • Who does the Mentee live with, number of people at home, household income, etc.
  • “Risk Factors” previously tracked with pre-18 matches: Involvement with law enforcement, unplanned pregnancy, etc.

What additional resources will be provided?

Our goal is to grow our ability to share resources and opportunities with Mentees/Matches while developing partnerships in each of the 3 E’s.  This may be through e-news blasts, social media groups, in-person trainings, resource fairs, etc.:

  • Education – Connect Mentees/Matches with BBBS Scholarship Program, financial aid resources, college access groups, 1st generation college student resources, etc.
  • Employment – Workplace partners, job readiness training, resume-building skills, interviewing skills, etc.
  • Enlistment – Connections with recruiters, those currently enlisted and/or veterans to provide guidance for Mentees considering military service.

Our goal is not to be experts in any of these specific areas, but to be connected to and able to guide/direct our Matches toward experts in each of these fields.

What are the benefits to Matches remaining open in Big Futures?

In order to help Mentees make progress toward one of our 3 E’s: Enrollment, Employment or Enlistment, the Big Futures program provides guidance, information, and workshops related to:

  • Counseling
  • Internships
  • Skill building
  • Financial literacy
  • Military enlistment
  • Affordable housing
  • GED/HSE certification
  • Identifying futures goals
  • College application process
  • Career and technical training
  • Para-professional certification
  • Career exploration and readiness
  • Financial assistance for post-secondary education
  • Resources/organizations relation to first generation college students