InspireU: A Mentoring Program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Big Brothers Big Sisters South Texas (BBBSST). I was compensated to participate but all opinions are mine.

When I learned about the student mentoring program, InspireU, in San Antonio it made me think back to my sophomore year of high school. On the first day of school my English teacher asked the class to write a paper on what we wanted to do after high school, what degree we would seek, at which college, to bring us closer to our dream career. Like most kids in my sophomore class I had absolutely no idea what career I wanted or college degree I would seek.

Fast forward to my senior year, I still had no idea what college degree I was planning to seek and no direction of what career I wanted. However there were a few students that had began doing internships during high school, even taking college courses our senior year to jump start their schooling. My husband was one of the high school students to take advantage of an internship. He interned with an oil field company. I used to tease him asking “what at the chances you’ll really seek a career in the oil field after college?”. Boy did he prove me wrong. He knew after those few years of interning that the oil field was the perfect career for him. I was left with no clear career direction.

Looking back I realize just how volatile those years were for each students future. All of the students that did an internship in my high school ended up going to college and following their dreams to their career. What if you could offer a student some insight into their dream career and help them plan for their future? Well now you can…

BBBS purple stacked

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas has a mentoring program, InspireU, that matches “Littles” (mostly high school and middle school students) with “Bigs” (co-workers) to mentor at their place of business. These Bigs give one hour of each month to eat lunch and talk to their Littles about their future. Together they set goals, talk about possible careers, and plan for the Little’s future.

This video shares what some students and mentors in the InspireU program are feeling. (You might want tissues handy.)

Trisha (a Little in the InspireU mentor program) said, “My mom didn’t go to college, but Annie (mentor) did and she’s been through all that so she helps me.”  “My mom wants me, of course, to be someone in life and get a great education. Having Annie help me and guide me through everything has really helped me a lot.”

BBBS mentor month

There is no time like the present, being that January is National Mentoring Month, for you and your co-workers to begin mentoring with InspireU. Here is an InspireU Partnership Flyer with more on information on how you can get involved. 


Wondering just how effecting mentoring programs like InspireU are? I was too so let me share what I found…This LOCAL Chase Impact Study shows results of students paired with volunteer mentors from Chase Bank in “Beyond School Walls,” BBBS’ workplace mentoring program in the 2010-2011 school year. Of the 24 students in the program:

  •  20 improved their reading scores on the 2011 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) from the previous year, many by as much as 100 points 6 of the students were commended for their performance (compared to none the year before being
  •  6 of the students were commended for their performance (compared to none the year before being mentored).
  •  In the 2011 TAKS math scores, 20 of the 24 students improved their scores* (3 students did not have scores from the previous year available to compare).
  •  9 students mentored by Chase mentors were rated commendable for their Math TAKS performance.

PLUS according to the Program-Based Outcome Evaluation surveys completed by the students’ teachers, 96% improved their academic performance from the previous year and the school counselor confirmed that every student in the Beyond School Walls program advanced to the next grade.

Clearly this mentor program made quite the impact on those students as well as the volunteers.

A "Little" with her Clear Channel Mentor

A “Little” with her Clear Channel Mentor

I am known to say this often because I truly believe it and live by it, “You get more out of volunteering than you’ll ever be able to give.”

So what are you waiting for? Get your business involved in InspireU today by visiting, send an email to, or call 210-225-6322. Just think of what mentoring just one our a month could do to help change the future of a child! 


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