BIGS OF THE YEAR!
During National Mentoring Month we want to congratulate Big Brother of the Year Tom and Big Sister of the year Joanie! These exemplary Bigs earned this honor by meeting 3 essential criteria. First, they have Ignited the Potential of their Littles by having a significant impact on their lives and goals. Second, they have Empowered the Potential of their Littles which is evident in the progress their Littles have made towards their goals. Finally, they have Defended the Potential of not only their Littles but every Little on our waitlist, by advocating for Big Brothers Big Sisters in their Communities. Lean more about these extraordinary matches by reading their stories below.
Meet Joanie and RayQueesha, you may remember them as the winners of our, "Where in the World is Bowley," contest this summer. They have been matched since 2015. In their 5 years together they have built a genuine sisterhood. RayQueesha knows that Joanie is always there to encourage her, both during their visits and on the phone between visits. RayQueesha says that the way Joanie is always there to listen to her makes her feel important. Joanie’s efforts to build such a deep bond helps to ignite RayQueesha’s potential, by consistently reminding her of her value.
Joanie loves to spend time with RayQueesha. The match likes to explore on their own, and consistently participate in program events. These outings provide Rayqueesha with a lot of opportunities for new experiences. They have gone to museums, bike riding on Belle Isles, and explored new restaurants. Beyond having fun together they also hold each other accountable for developing good habits, by studying together and running around Ford Lake. Between new experiences, and building healthy habits Joanie is helping to expand RayQueesha’s horizons and empowering her to dream big.
Joanie is an excellent advocate in the community for BBBS. From winning a BBBS photo contest last summer to engaging her employer to participate in our holiday Adopt-a-Family program, she is always helping to raise awareness for our program. She also includes Rayqueesha in her passion for volunteering. The match represented BBBS when they participated in Ypsi PROUD, a community beautification project. When a match works together to raise awareness for BBBS, they are defending the potential of every Little both in our program and on our wait list.
Once again we extend our heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to both Joanie and RayQueesha. It is matches like yours that makes everything we do worth it. It is matches like yours that change the world one Little at a time. Because of you, the future is bright and together, we will ignite it!
Tom and Mohamed, they have been matched since 2017. From the first moments of their match, Mo’s big dream was to play for the NBA. Tom has spent a great deal of time supporting and encouraging that dream. From regular one on one games to helping Mo go to basketball camp, Tom has worked hard to Ignite Mohamed’s Potential, so he felt his dream was attainable.
This match has spent countless hours on the court playing basketball. Tom talks about Mo’s game with great pride. He reminisced that in the beginning, he won most of their games, but now Mo wins most of the games. Off the court, Mohamed says he often calls Tom when he needs advice. “He helps me with basketball, and he guides me in life.” The trust Mo and Tom have built, empowers Mo to own his potential and pursue his dreams.
Tom loves to talk about the impact being a Big has had on his life. Tom feels so strongly about the positive impact that his match has had on both him and Mohamed, that he actively advocates for our program in his church. He even made a commercial, to helps raise awareness about the need for more Bigs in his community. By raising awareness, and leading by example Tom is not only defending Mo’s potential but the potential of the over 100 kids on our wait list.
Once again we extend our heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to both Tom and Mohamed. It is matches like yours that makes everything we do worth it. It is matches like yours that change the world one Little at a time. Because of you, the future is bright and together, we will ignite it!