Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County 

The people:

Sue Sedivec isn’t just an advocate of mentorship, she LIVES mentorship.  We loved Sue from the minute we met her.  You can feel her passion for helping the community in everything she does. Sue decided to make this passion her career and became the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County in 2001.  She then, she has been changing the lives of Littles, Bigs and community volunteers.

The Idea:

When we first met with Sue, she walked us through the Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) review she had done the previous year.  With Sue’s leadership and a dedicated Board, they were at the right place to increase capacity and address the 185 children on the waiting list to be a part of the program, which had successfully been run in the Toms River Regional Schools years prior, but was terminated in recent years due to budget cuts.  We knew they had the right team, passion and community volunteers to recreate the program.


The Impact:

The cost of the program was $400,000. Staying true to our Foundation goal of helping non-profits become self-sustainable, we offered a challenge grant of $400,000 over three years if they could successfully match those funds.  The Board put together an answer to the challenge and we began discussions with Superintendent David Healy of the Toms River Regional School System.  Mr. Healy was excited by the program and immediately bought in with his team. The program began in November 2015 with “Bigs” from the incoming freshman class at Toms River High School North, and the first “Littles” coming from Walnut Street School.

The Check In:

A year later, the waiting list was reduced and the number of matches increased by fifty-seven percent. One hundred percent of the Littles in the BBBSOC program have improved or maintained attitudes towards risky behavior and 85%-100% of Littles improved or maintained on the seven target outcomes that are measured since joining the program. We are most excited by the news that the BBBSOC program was ranked number one in the Northeast Region by BBBSA for match retention!

The Promise:

We will work with BBBSOC to increase their presence in the Toms River Regional Schools so their Bigs can continue having a direct impact on the Littles’ lives.