Getting to Great

Our mentoring has a significant, positive impact on girls’ lives across a broad spectrum of developmental outcomes. We measure success of current Little Sisters with an evidenced-based tool designed by Jean Rhodes of UMass Boston's Donahue Institute; and we partner with researchers and experts to further knowledge and improve practice in the field of mentoring. 

Little Sister Lianne Hughes shakes hands with an education administrator as she graduates college.


A 2011 survey of former Little Sisters indicated that girls served by Big Sister are more likely to graduate from high school, 96% of Little Sisters graduate; and enroll in post-secondary education, 90% of Little Sisters enroll in college.

Further Research

  • "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: A Qualitative Interview Study of How and Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End." Renée Spencer, Antoinette Basualdo-Delmonico, Jill Walsh, and Alison L. Drew. This research utilized qualitative interview data collected from participants in a longitudinal study of community-based mentoring relationships to examine how and why the relationships ended and how participants experienced these endings.
"It can be difficult to say goodbye—especially when the end of the relationship feels like a loss or failure in some way to the participants. This study indicates that good closures to youth mentoring relationships require considerable scaffolding on the part of mentoring programs as well as follow through by all participants."

Report Published in Sage Publications

  • The Role of Gender in Mentoring:  A Three-Part Study by Dr. Jean Rhodes and Dr. Leon Litchfield's. This research offers a quantitative study of how gender affects mentoring relationships.

"Since the youths’ satisfaction and perceived helpfulness of mentors increased over time, mentors should be supported in developing their mentoring relationships, and instructed that it may take time for their mentees, especially girls, to trust them, accept their support, and enjoy their time together."


Executive Summary

  • "She Gives Me a Break From the World: Formal Youth Mentoring Relationships Between Adolescent Girls and Adult Women" by Dr. Renee Spencer and Dr. Belle Liang

"For many of the girls in this study, opportunities to immerse themselves in the pleasure of fun moments, shared with an adult companion who was interested in and cared about them, were experiences that seemed to be emotionally enhancing in and of themselves."


Article published in Journal of Primary Prevention

  • A study regarding positive outcomes for both mentors and mentees in Group Mentoring programs, including a look at how the mentoring experience improved employee attitudes toward work

"...the majority of youth in this study report that meeting with their mentors and involvement in the mentoring programs have had positive impacts in terms of improving school-related behavior, increasing youth development, and reducing negative or high-risk behaviors."



Full Article

  • An analysis of the positive impact School-Based Mentoring has on student attitudes, performance, and behaviors

"By the end of the first school year, the program had improved Littles’ outcomes in a range of areas, including their academic attitudes, performance and behaviors."


Executive Summary

Full Article