Our Organization

We are here to start something.

Our Mission

At Big Brothers Big Sisters our mission is to provide youth facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Our Accountability

By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers, and others in the community we are accountable for each youth in our program achieving:

• Higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships

• Avoidance of risky behaviors

• Educational success

Our Vision

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, our vision is that all youth achieve success in life.

The Results

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ one-to-one youth mentoring has been shown to have a significant and positive impact on the lives of youth, according to the first-ever nationwide impact study of a mentoring organization.

Researchers found that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Little Brothers and Little Sisters were:

less likely to begin using illegal drugs

less likely to begin using alcohol

less likely to skip school

less likely to skip a class
one-third less likely to hit someone
more confident of their performance in schoolwork
getting along better with their families

Executive Staff

Menessah Nelson

Executive Director
(574) 830-5013   x1004

Sarah Baker

Program Specialist
(574) 830-5013   x1001

Tia Chapo

Community Engagement Coordinator
(574) 830-5013   x1003

LaTasha Bosse

Program Manager
(574) 830-5013  x1002

Jessica Hilary

Customer Relations & Enrollment Specialist
(574) 830-5013  x1005

Katy Holdread

Enrollment Specialist
(574) 830-5013

Board of Directors

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County is governed by a Board of Directors whose roles are crucial to the development and growth of the agency.

They are committed to helping girls and boys grow into the next generation of caring, confident and competent adults. They serve as ambassadors to the community, helping to spread the message about the importance of mentoring and identifying and encouraging other community leaders and potential volunteers to join the agency in mentoring and supporting local youth. Their talents, perspective and professional expertise are unique assets and Big Brothers Big Sisters is grateful for their time and advocacy.

Adriana Garcia , Chair
Kristi Blumeyer, Vice Chair
Ivannia Graber, Treasurer
Erin Bantz, Secretary
Doug Reese
Kyle Woolsey
Angie Schwartz
Craig Blough

What is the Partnership for Children?

The Partnership for Children is all about our community’s youth! It is an unprecedented collaboration among youth serving agencies to assist Elkhart County youth with challenging needs who attend those programs.

The project provides services to those youth within the partner agencies, using a wraparound themed approach. In addition, the program offers staff development opportunities focused on how to support youth with behavioral health challenges.

What does the Partnership do?

The Partnership for Children helps children who are showing significant difficulties in their youth agency activities or other community contexts.

The immediate goal is to help these children and youth develop the social and behavioral skills to participate effectively in the community’s rich array of youth development programming.

The partnership includes:

  • Bashor Children’s Home
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Elkhart County
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Elkhart County
  • The Crossing
  • CAPS
  • Center for Community Justice
  • Five Star Life
  • The Post
  • Lifeline Youth Ministries
  • Oaklawn
  • Ryan’s Place
  • Tolson Center

What will the Partnership accomplish?

Referred youth will:

Achieve personalized behavioral and social skill objectives, enabling them to continue with meaningful participation in community support programs.

Develop a broader personal, family, and social support system.
Avoid the juvenile justice system, school suspension, and high risk, dangerous behaviors.

Partner organizations will:

Benefit from professional staff development to enhance their skills in supporting at-risk youth with challenging behaviors.

Benefit from services in ways that make strategic use of their natural supports and settings.