The 7.3 million children in America who have an incarcerated parent are facing more difficulties in their lives. They need all of the help they can get to achieve their dreams and succeed in life. These children benefit greatly from having an additional caring adult mentor in their lives. It's what moved Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode Sr. to found the Amachi program on the streets of Philadelphia in 2001.

The idea took flight and evolved into a national Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi program proven to make a difference in the lives of children of incarcerated parents. In 2006, Ohio Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies partnered together to form Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selected Amachi Ohio as one of the five benchmark programs out of 220 that serve children of incarcerated parents.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio volunteers have mentored about 3,000 Ohio children and with your help, that number will grow.


The Amachi Solution

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Learning to Fly

Amachi is a Nigerian Ibo word meaning, "who knows what God has brought us through this child." Meaning that each child, no matter what their circumstance, has the potential to soar. With the support of the child's parent(s) or guardian(s), Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio pairs the child with a carefully screened and approved adult volunteer mentor.

Research shows that children matched to a Big Brother or Big Sister are 46% less likely to start using drugs, 52% less likely to skip school and 64% more confident of their ability to perform their schoolwork. And the cost of prevention-based mentoring services is small compared to the cost of treating a child or adult later through a rehabilitation program or through incarceration.

Where are they?

While the benefits of having a mentor are clear, Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio can only help the families who come forward. Partnerships with Prison Fellowship Ministries/Angel Tree and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, as well as local faith-based organizations, police departments, schools and community organizations have helped us to locate some of these families. However, the majority of referrals come from the child's caregivers, their parents or community members. The challenge is spreading the word.

If you know a child of an incarcerated parent please contact us. Start by calling toll-free at 866-892-2447 or emailing mpalkowski@bbbscentralohio.org. The Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi Ohio office in your area will contact you.

Taking this first small step could lead to the child's first mentor experience, and put another positive role model in his or her life.

Volunteer Now

Become an Amachi Ohio Big Brother or Big Sister and you will undoubtedly change a child's life -- and your own. Read more on the benefits of volunteering to be a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Why Amachi