Mid-Maine Big Brothers Big Sisters receive grant to launch “Bigs with Badges” in Augusta

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine has received a generous $30,000 Innovation Grant from United Way of Kennebec Valley (UWKV) to help launch a new program linking local law enforcement one-to-one with Augusta youth. The new program, called Bigs with Badges, is a collaborative partnership matching students from Sylvio J. Gilbert Elementary School (Littles) with Augusta Police Department law enforcement and first responders (Bigs), in long-term relationships that support local kids facing adversity.

“We are incredibly honored and excited to be a recipient of United Way of Kennebec Valley’s Innovation Grant,” BBBS of Mid-Maine Executive Director Gwendolyn Hudson said. “Through this unique, collaborative partnership, our new Bigs with Badges program, the first of its kind in Maine, will match police and other mentors in law-enforcement, with children, creating positive, one-to-one relationships that will no doubt ignite the power and promise of local youth.”

The program also aims to prevent children from seeing law enforcement as an adversary. Courtney Yeager, UWKV executive director, said BBBS of Mid-Maine’s innovative program helps address entrenched issues with a novel solution that is both collaborative and effective.

Big and Little matches between local youth and law enforcement, like this one in Birmingham, Alabama, will be made in Maine for the first time, as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine’s new mentoring program Bigs with Badges. BBBS of Mid-Maine was recently awarded a generous $30,000 Innovation Grant from United Way of Kennebec Valley to help launch the new initiative that links Augusta Police one-to-one with students at Sylvio J. Gilbert Elementary School, in Augusta.


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