Our History

Our History

On April 9, 2015, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida celebrated 100 years of serving Jacksonville and its youth with more than 200 of our supporters, current and former Bigs, Littles, Staff and Board Members. Over these years, BBBSNEFL has made a significant impact on thousands of children in our community by placing caring adults in their lives.

It all started in 1904, when a young New York court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.

At the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.

Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founder’s vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states and in 12 countries around the world.