It All Starts Here

Mentoring that makes a difference!

Who We Are

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin has been serving at-risk youth since 1976.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin is the gold standard in youth mentoring.  By matching children with a positive role model, we are building stronger communities one relationship at a time.

Big Brothers Big Sisters serves children ages 6 through 14 that are struggling emotionally, socially, academically, and behaviorally.  Currently, our service areas include: Marathon County, Abbotsford and the Merrill Area.  Our School-Based Program serves the districts of: Abbotsford, Athens, D.C. Everest, Marathon, Merrill, Mosinee, and Wausau.

Our Mission:

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Our Vision:

The vision of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin is that all children achieve success in life.

Guiding Principles

  • Commitment to quality and safety
    We are committed to one-to-one, safe and professionally supported mentoring with proven, measurable outcomes.
  • Dedicated to serving at-risk youth
    In a world of scarce resources, we will focus on youth receiving free/reduced lunch, in a single parent environment and/or who have a parent in the criminal justice system.
  • Accountability to our stakeholders
    We are committed to mutually beneficial relationships with our stakeholders and to building and funding our capacity for sustainable, quality growth.
  • Focus on diversity
    We will address our communities’ racial, ethnic and gender diversity in all aspects of how we operate.
  • Culture of performance
    We are a progressive organization that measures our impact and will recruit, build and retain the most effective team and Board.

Our Mentoring Works

Local research shows that positive relationships between youth and their mentors have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives.  Youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin children achieve remarkable outcomes:

  • Confidence 84% 84%
84% of children served improved their level of confidence.
  • Competence 67% 67%
67% of children served improved their level of competence.
  • Caring 72% 72%
72% of children served improved their level of caring.

Our History

Our founder Jim Hoops saw a need to establish a mentoring program to help the youth of our community.  Jim formed a committee, and together they secured funding from private organizations, businesses and the United Way of Marathon County.  On October 12, 1976 Jim’s dream became a reality.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marathon County was officially registered with the State of Wisconsin.  Forty-three years later and many great things have happened.  We are now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin and we have served thousands of children in a match relationship.  The staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin still hold our founder’s values and inspirations to continue to serve our communities with honest dedication to our children, family, volunteers and supporters.

Core Values

Mutual Respect We will treat everyone with the utmost respect at all times
Exceptional Service We will strive to have the absolute best customer service possible
Nurturing Relationships We will put the children and volunteers we serve at the center of all operations
Trustworthy We believe that trust is essential to serve our mission
Outcome Drive Everything that we do will be to provide the best possible outcome for the children we serve
Responsible We are responsible for the children we serve, our volunteers, our donors, and each other
Integrity We are committed to the highest standard of work and professionalism
Need Base We will work diligently for those that need our help the most
Grateful We are grateful to all who help us work towards our mission

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, religion, marital status, gender identity, and/or sexual orientation.

Meet Our Team

We, the staff of Big Brothers Big Sisters, together as a team, value integrity and positive relationships. We work collectively to make an impact on the lives of others and on our community through enthusiasm, compassion, and commitment to our mission.

Linda Koepke

Linda Koepke

Executive Director

Linda Koepke is the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin. She has been with the agency since 2002. Linda and her husband, who are empty-nesters, enjoy reading, fishing, snowmobiling, traveling and hanging out with their dogs: Jake & Sophie, and most importantly chasing their kids around the country.

Megan Belanger

Megan Belanger

Program Director

Megan Belanger is our Program Director. She joined the agency in August 2018. Megan lives in Weston with her husband, son, daughter, and Doodle. Together, they enjoy cooking, spending time with family and friends, camping, traveling and hiking.

Senior Enrollment & Match Support Specialist

Cassi is an Enrollment and Match Support Specialist. She joined the agency in August 2022. She lives in Kronenwetter with her husband and son. In her free time, Cassi enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, geocaching, and scrapbooking.

Nicole Moon

Nicole Moon

Enrollment & Match Support Specialist

Nicole Moon is an Enrollment and Match Support Specialist. She joined the agency in October 2023. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. 

Jill Rothrock

Jill Rothrock

Enrollment & Match Support Specialist

Jill Rothrock is an Enrollment and Match Specialist who had previously worked for our agency (2016-2018) as the School Based Match Specialist in Merrill, Wisconsin.  Jill recently returned to the agency in 2022 and is currently working remotely as a Match Specialist.  Jill  works mostly with Community Based matches throughout the counties and areas that we serve.  Jill also helps in the planning and implementing of  fun and affordable activities for our matches to enjoy within our community.  She especially enjoys working with the various nonprofits in our area such as the Center for Visual Arts and Monk Botanical Gardens.  She also enjoys helping out with the various fundraisers, such as Big Taste and Bowl for Kid’s Sake that fund and support the agency.  Jill is a recent empty nester who enjoys visiting her daughter at her college in the North Carolina mountains.  Since her daughter decided to attend Appalachian State University, she has discovered that she enjoys spending time in mountains just as much as she enjoys visiting the beaches along the coasts of North and South Carolina.

Josiah Weix

Josiah Weix

Enrollment & Match Support Specialist

Josiah is an Enrollment and Match Support Specialist. Josiah Joined in late October of this year. He is a very avid fisherman and enjoys being outside in nature and hanging out with friends and family. Josiah is also a huge fan of sports such as Soccer, Basketball, and Football.

Board Of Directors

Our board of directors consists of community leaders who share a passion for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northcentral Wisconsin’s mission & vision.

Mary Hallgren | President
Nicolet National Bank

Kym Riedel | Vice President
County Materials, Inc.

Jenny Fecteau | Secretary
Church Mutual

Nate Bartz | Treasurer

Eric Anderson | Director

Denis Crevier | Director
Crystal Finishing

Jaya Greenwood | Director
Samuels Group

Alex Forer | Director
Larry Meyer Construction

Howard Heinrich | Director
CoVantage Credit Union 

Alan Hougum | Director
Hougum Law Firm

Chandler Hunkins | Director
Wausau Country Club

Trina Knospe | Director
Merrill Area Public Schools

Anna Meverden | Director
Mid-State Truck Service

Charlie Sann | Director
Kocourek Subaru

Your Questions Answered