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Having a mom or dad in prison can make growing up more difficult. Children with an incarcerated parent often need additional support and guidance. Big Brothers Big Sisters Amachi program helps broaden their perspectives on what they can achieve in life.

Amachi, a Nigerian word of hope from the Ibo people, means "who knows but what God has brought us through this child." Our Amachi Program connects children with role models from all walks of life, but particularly those from local religious organizations.  Houses of worship and their members are able to provide a safe, stable environment for children to develop into responsible young men and women.

Amachi Texas Campaign Seeks Mentors for Children of Texas Prisoners

Amachi Texas launched a North Texas advertising campaign to put a face on the recently launched statewide program that matches children with an incarcerated parent to caring adult mentors.

In Texas, approximately 400,000 children have a parent in jail. Statistics show that 70% of children with a parent in jail will end up in prison themselves. Those are numbers that the Amachi Texas program hopes to change.

The campaign puts a face on that “70%” statistic by asking volunteers to “Break the Chain” of incarceration by becoming a mentor to one of these children. The campaign highlights the fact that many of these children will themselves become prisoners one day simply as a matter of family tradition. Volunteers are asked to help stop the cycle of generational incarceration and make a difference by simply becoming a positive role model to a child.

Learn more about the Amachi Texas Program

What is Amachi Texas?
Amachi Texas is one program within Big Brothers Big Sisters, which focuses on mentoring children of incarcerated family members, including family members who are on parole or probation.

What does Amachi mean?
"Amachi" is a Nigerian Ibo word that means: "Who knows what God has brought us through this child."

How did the Amachi program begin?
The original Amachi program started in 2001 in Philadelphia as a mentoring program within Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Amachi Texas is the first statewide program funded by a grant from the State of Texas.

How does BBBS find the Amachi Children?
Amachi children are much like all BBBS children. The only characteristic that identifies them as an Amachi Texas child is a link to an incarcerated family member. Most parents or guardians of Amachi children apply directly to BBBS in an effort to provide a positive role model for their child.

Does the parent in prison know they have a mentor?
Yes, the incarcerated parent will know their child has a mentor and often he/she is the person who initially enrolled their child in the program.

What are the eligibility requirements for being a mentor?
  • Must have a clean criminal record.
  • Submit an Application including references and background check information.
  • Go through an interview where we ask you a few questions about yourself. Once our background check is complete and your application has passed screening, you enter the mentoring program.
  • For a few hours, a couple times a month, you can give a Little the invaluable gift of your friendship. By simply changing their perspective of what the world can offer, you can literally start changing their lives. And sometimes it’s as simple as playing video games, going to a museum, or just hanging out together.

  • Why do you need more Big Brothers?
    Predominantly, females volunteer more often and at a greater rate than their counterparts. Most of the children waiting for a mentor are boys (about 65 percent) and they could use a positive adult male to look up to. Most of these boys are from female-headed households and have no close male role models. That's why we focus our recruitment toward men.

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