Our History

110 Years of History

For more than a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. And we have more than a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates just like you to thank.

It all started in 1904, when a young New York City 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 around 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 founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states — and in 12 countries around the world.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of NELA has been serving Northeast Louisiana since 1998.  BBBS of NELA is a program of The Wellspring.  The Wellspring is an umbrella organization focused on leading our community in serving people in need.  It is one of the state’s oldest and most effective non-profits.  It has been an enduring source of help and hope over the years, strengthening the lives of individuals and families throughout Northeast Louisiana.  The Wellspring mission is to strengthen and value individuals and families through professional services and community leadership with a culture of compassion and integrity.  The Wellspring supports individuals and families through its Counseling and Family Development, Housing and Supportive Services, Domestic Violence and Big Brothers Big Sisters programs.  Learn more about The Wellspring.  

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