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Monday, May 27, 2024

OC Women in Business: Sloane Keane

Getting Big Brothers Big Sisters Back in School

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire (BB&BS) is back to pre-pandemic measures and in-person programs.

The nonprofit was able to maintain its community-based programs by going virtual, but its school platforms were more directly impacted.

Chief Executive Sloane Keane pointed to reports of learning loss, mental crises and negative behavior because of the lack of support.

“The youth we have not been able to serve are crying out,” Keane told the Business Journal.

This year, the organization has been granted access to 45 elementary campuses across 21 districts, marking a much-needed return.

Facilitated by BB&BS staff, the after-school programs are back on-site once a week for elementary students to be tutored by fellow high school students.

The goal is to be back to pre-COVID numbers by December, approaching 1,400 matches. Almost 75% of the nonprofit’s site-based matches should be filled by the end of 2022 which would be a 10% increase in matches from 2020, according to Keane.

The organization has also continued its post-18 program for graduating mentors transitioning from minor to adult, focused on upward mobility.

“We have a responsibility to invest in the future,” Keane said.

By January of next year, BB&BS of OC will have 100 employees across its two offices, a 25% increase from the prior two years.

Keane is now looking to volunteers to help meet community needs post-COVID.

More than 100 youth are awaiting a mentor in OC and the Inland Empire, according to the nonprofit. On July 1, BB&BS began its “100 mentors in 100 days” campaign which now has about 250 inquiries and over 50 new volunteers.

“We cannot do this without people raising their hand and people investing in their community,” Keane said.

The Business Journal annually honors five women business leaders from diverse industries at the Women in Business Awards. The 27th annual awards will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Irvine Marriott. For more info, visit: https://www.ocbj.com/events/2022-women-in-business-awards/ 

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