Celebrating over100 Years of History

Big Brothers Big Sisters started over a century ago with the vision of a judge who saw a fundamental problem with too many kids being sent to reformatory school.

1915 - Established

173 Boys Were Served In the First Year of Operation

The Big Brother Association is established by Charles Edwin Fox, assistant District Attorney of Philadelphia. It is determined that young men without fathers need the positive influence and guidance of male adults "Bigs" and the Big Brother Movement begins. 173 boys are served in the first year of operation.

1921 - The United Way

The Newly Founded Welfare Federation of Philadelphia

The Big Brother Association of Philadelphia is one of 20 Charter Members of the newly founded Welfare Federation of Philadelphia, now known as United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey.

1948 - National Organization

Big Brothers of America, is Founded in Philadelphia

A national organization, Big Brothers of America, is founded by Big Brother Association of Philadelphia's President, Charles Berwind. The Philadelphia Association is one of 13 Charter Members.

1953 - Fundraising

The Association Begins to Hold Fundraising Events

Big Brother Association of Philadelphia begins to hold fundraising events like "Red Button Parties," "Big and Little Brother Night at the Club," and "Big Brother and Ladies Nights" in order to serve more children.

1967 - A New Approach

Embarking On A Decentralized Neighborhood Approach

The Big Brother Association of Philadelphia embarks on a decentralized neighborhood approach to provide service by opening offices throughout Philadelphia, as well as Upper Darby and Chester. Big Brothers of Montgomery County is organized and begins providing mentoring services to boys.

1968 - Growth & Support

Big Brothers of Chester County is Organized

Big Brothers of Chester County is organized by a small group of citizens who obtain financial support from the Lukens Steel Company in Coatesville, PA.

1975 - Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chester County

Big Brothers of Chester County begins providing mentoring services to girls and changes its name to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chester County.

1995 - Nationwide Study

Scientific Evidence That Our Model Yields Many Benefits

Public/Private Ventures conducts the first nationwide mentoring study, providing scientifically reliable evidence that the Big Brothers Big Sisters model of one-to-one mentoring yields a wide range of benefits to children and youth.

2001 - Amachi Program

Providing Mentors to Children With Incarcerated Parents

The Big Brother Association of Philadelphia partners with Public/Private Ventures, the University of Pennsylvania and local congregations to launch the Amachi Program, which provides faith-based mentors to children with incarcerated parents.

2002 - BBBS SEPA

Merger to Form BBBS of Southeastern Pennsylvania

The BBBS Association of Philadelphia and BBBS of Chester County merge to form Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania.

2006 - Workplace Mentoring

Beyond School Walls™ Workplace Mentoring Program Launches

The Beyond School Walls™ (BSW) workplace mentoring program launches with its first partners, CIGNA and Pratt Elementary School, allowing the agency to serve once hard to reach children.

2015 - Celebrating 100 years

BBBS SEPA Becomes the Third Largest Affiliate in the Network

Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania celebrates its 100-year anniversary by launching it's a Mentoring Partnership & Resource Center, designed to expand the mentoring field's regional capacity by helping other youth mentoring programs improve their practices. The agency grows to become the third largest affiliate in the network of 330+ agencies, serving 3,300 children.

2016 - Independent Region

BBBS SEPA Merges With New Jersey Sister Affiliate

BBBS Southeastern PA merges with NJ affiliate BBBS of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties to become Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region.