Mentoring Program Overview

The Mentoring Program at Siena College has been impacting the lives of Siena College students (known as “Bigs”) and Capital Area youth (known as “Littles”) since 1965. Jim Snyder started the program as an initiative supported by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR). Littles, who are matched one–to–one with a Big, are bussed to campus and are greeted by their Big who leads them in fun, educational, and encouraging activities. 

By spending 12 to 14  Saturday afternoons during the academic year together, Bigs and Littles build a mutually beneficial relationship as they learn from one another. Participation in the Mentoring Program—the college’s “first club”—is the avenue students have chosen for nearly 60 years to demonstrate their passion to be a true Saint. Service as a Big is not “volunteer work,” but valued college service; an activity that strengthens the campus, the community, the Little, and the Bigs themselves. Bigs come from a variety of disciplines and participate to put their Franciscan values into action. 

Summer Enrichment Program

The Mentoring Program also offers a Summer Enrichment Program where Littles work with Bigs to have a fun summer while keeping up their academic skills. Eligible only to the Littles who participated during the academic year, the program is a 6-week summer day camp.  The Bigs are the camp counselors and lead the Littles in fun on-campus activities and off-campus trips.