Darcey Palmer-Shultz, BBBSCI CEO; Amy Pomeranz-Essley, BBBSCI Chief Program Officer; and Drew Linn, Chief Strategy Officer at WDD Software and BBBSCI Board Member, attended the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Conference in Orlando, Florida last month.
The conference featured workshops, seminars, and awards presentations. However, the highlight of the conference was a presentation on the Big App by Amy, Drew, and Darcey. The Big App, which was launched in March 2016, is built from software by WDD that Exacta developed and is a result of a Six Sigma research project in partnership with Cummins Inc.
This research on positive youth development identifies twelve “Thriving Indicators”, that is, the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that are necessary for youth to reach their full potential. This interactive web-based platform allows mentors and youth to select one of 12 Thriving Indicators that they would like to explore and then browse a variety of relevant activity options and established partnerships.
Approximately 50 guests attended the presentation to learn more about The Big App, which is now available for current Bigs to use and explore.
Interest for the Big App climbed when Amy was asked to present on it again to the program directors of the BBBS Mid-Large Agency Alliance for their July 12 meeting.
“The response we received following our presentation was very exciting,” Amy said. “We were so excited to be chosen by the BBBSA Review Committee to present at this year’s National Conference. We are proud of the work that went into The Big App. This work would not have been possible without the generosity of our partners at WDD!”
Thank you to WDD Software for their support of this transformative tool and if you’re a current Big and haven’t downloaded The Big App yet, be sure to talk to your Match Support Specialist and they’ll get you set up! Not quite sure if you’re ready for The Big App? We’ve received some honest feedback from current Bigs who are users and we wanted to share:
“My Little Sister and I have a tough time when it comes to making decisions on how we are going to spend our time together and The Big App has been really helpful for both of us! We’ll browse activities together on my phone and I know that whatever we choose, we’ll have fun and she’ll develop lifelong skills.” – Whitney, Big Sister
“In preparation for outings with our Little Brother, my wife and I have utilized the BigApp to search for ideas to suggest upon arriving at his house. The Big App allows us to search for ideas/opportunities that are specific to his age and also our goals as a match.” – Mike, who is part of a Big Couple with his wife
“It’s a game changer!” – Tim, Big Brother
“A Big mentioned to me how much he is enjoying The Big App. He and his Little Brother made goals at the past anniversary party around being more healthy and active. They plan to look at the app together on their next few outings to find activities based around those things so they can accomplish their match goals. He also mentioned how helpful it is having upcoming activities all in one place.” – Isamar Moctezuma, BBBSCI Program Communications & Events Assistant
“One of my previous Big Sisters, who actually participated in the initial focus group, used the Big App on a regular basis when planning outings with her Little Sister. This Big Sister would utilize the Big App to send me messages, including RSVPs, about various outings and opportunities.” – Mike Lapota, BBBSCI Match Support Specialist