Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, a non-profit organization that provides caring adult mentors for young people, will be able to reach more youth in the greater St. Louis area, thanks to state resources announced today by Gov. Jay Nixon.
The Governor outlined the $250,000 in Youth Opportunities Program tax credits for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (BBBSEMO) while visiting the organization's St. Louis facility, where he was joined by the non-profit's leadership and employees.
"Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri has a proven track record of nearly 100 years of building trusting and enduring relationships," Gov. Nixon said. "Studies have shown that young people who have been mentored through a Big Brother or Big Sister are far more likely to demonstrate an improved performance in school and in life. I am pleased that the state of Missouri can assist this organization in expanding its critical mission of reaching even more young people in need."
Since the St. Louis chapter was established in 1914, BBBSEMO has focused on building lasting relationships that encourage and support young people, especially at-risk young people who are most in need. That includes those who live in single-parent households; have a parent in prison; live at or below the poverty level; struggle academically; attend underperforming schools; or reside in unhealthy, unsafe environments.
Over the next year, BBBSEMO has established a goal of increasing to 2,900 the number of youth it serves in St. Louis City and St. Louis County, as well as in St. Charles, Jefferson and Cape Girardeau counties. The organization also wants to increase the number of youth it serves in its specialized mentoring program that is geared specifically to academic performance, called ABC Today!, to 850 students.
To assist BBBSEMO in its fundraising to meet new expenses associated with expanding the program, Gov. Nixon's administration awarded the organization $250,000 in Youth Opportunities Program incentives. These resources provide a boost to BBBSEMO's fundraising, as the organization can solicit donors while offering them the incentive of having 50 percent of their donation returned to them in the form of state tax credits.