Helpful Resources for Big Futures Participants
As Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Big Futures Program Coordinator, a big part of Christina Eisenlord’s role is connecting Mentees with the resources that address their particular needs and goals.
“Finding the right resources for young adults is crucial to their success,” she says.
Here’s a sampling of some of the schools and organizations that Christina collaborates with to better help Mentees in the Big Futures program transition successfully to adulthood.
Austin Community College (ACC) Data Sharing Agreement
A newly established Data Sharing Agreement between BBBS and Austin Community College allows us to better support our Mentees who are experiencing more challenging college coursework. This partnership allows ACC to provide regular updates to BBBS regarding the progress of Mentees who have chosen to participate. With this information, Big Futures can better identify struggling students and provide additional guidance and resources as needed.
Capital IDEA provides financial support and extensive professional guidance to motivated, non-traditional students who want to earn a living wage and advance in a promising career. By connecting Big Futures participants with this resource for tuition assistance and academic and career advising, BBBS enables our Mentees to confidently navigate both their college experience and their career path. https://www.capitalidea.org/
College of Health Care Professions (CHCP)
The College of Health Care Professions helps students develop the skills they need to gain entry-level employment in the allied health professions. Thanks to its generous partnership with BBBS, CHCP also provides recipients of BBBS’ Promising Futures Scholarship with up to $2,000 in matching funds to help cover their educational expenses. With a wide range of on-campus, online and hybrid program offerings, the flexibility offered by this physician-founded college is an especially valuable resource for Big Futures Mentees interested in the allied health field who are balancing work, life, and educational responsibilities. https://www.chcp.edu/
Goodwill LifeLaunch assists young adults in the Austin area, ages 18 to 24, who have been involved in the criminal justice system. The individualized services of LifeLaunch are especially relevant to our Mentees in the Big Futures program who face the unique obstacles to employment that result from having a criminal history. Participation in Goodwill’s LifeLaunch program empowers youth to chart a new course for their lives by continuing their education, completing an occupational training program, and/or pursuing a college degree. https://www.goodwillcentraltexas.org/blog/post/goodwill-central-texas-announces-lifelaunch
Goodwill Excel Center
The Goodwill Excel Center is the first free public charter school in Texas that provides adults, ages 19-50, with the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, complete a professional certification, and begin post-secondary education. By providing free childcare, in addition to individualized learning plans and life-coaching, this supportive learning environment addresses the unique needs of our Mentees who are balancing parenting responsibilities with educational aspirations. https://www.goodwillcentraltexas.org/excel-center
With more than 50 years’ experience working with youth facing challenges to their future success, LifeWorks provides 19 programs designed to bolster self-sufficiency related to housing, mental health, and educational needs. With its focus on developing the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the challenges of adolescence, move toward independence, and break the cycle of poverty, LifeWorks’ Education and Workforce Division is especially relevant to participants in our Big Futures program. https://www.lifeworksaustin.org/education-workforce
Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFS)
Through its Youth Employment Partnership, WFS helps low-income youth, aged 14-24, prepare for success in the classroom and on the job. Big Futures Mentees can utilize the resources offered by WFS to receive work-readiness and life skills that will help them achieve their career goals. Programs offered include GED or High School Equivalency preparation, alternative secondary school services, career counseling, leadership skills development, job readiness training and paid and unpaid work experience. http://www.wfscapitalarea.com/YouthServices