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Voices from the Heart

Today and Everyday we appreciate the families that come to us for support for themselves and their children.  We do our best to create and support strong mentoring relationships. 

Every year we reach out to parents to ask them how we are doing by giving them the opportunity to nominate a mentor for the Volunteer of the Year awards.

This year we had over 70 nominations, and we can’t possibly choose just one winner. All of these mentors deserve to be recognized.  Every “Big” is a winner in our eyes. 

So, over the next several months we will be sharing the wonderful words that parents had to say about their children’s Big Brothers and Big Sisters in this blog series: Voices from the Heart.

My son’s Big Brother Willie is a wonderful man.  After he was matched to David he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He has done a great job staying in contact with David as often as possible.  He could have stopped reaching out with everything he has going on, but he hasn’t!  This is why I think he should be Big of the Year.  We pray for Willie.

David’s mom, Margo

Tyler has gone FAR BEYOND any duties of a Big Brother! Saying “Thank you” isn’t enough to express what does and how much he means to my whole family. Tyler fills a space in my son’s heart BUT he has brought along an ARMY of people to overfill all of our lives. I have never seen a person who is beyond dedicated to my son. As a family, we had an instant connection because of our military background and like myself once we commit we stay the course. Tyler is at every school event and every basketball game my son is involved in. He also spends time with my son one on one just having fun and making sure he knows his “Big Brother” is here for him. He has become such a big part of our family that he is always invited over for dinner just to hang out and catch up with my son’s daily life. He has never gone a week without contacting my son no matter how busy he may be. Thank you, Tyler for filling a place in my son that I never thought would be possible.

Jacqii’s mom, Jackie

My son’s Big Brother Antonio has been a big positive role in my son’s life. I’m grateful that even though Officer DeLeon is busy he’s made time for Damien. 

Damien’s mom, Melissa

Tom has been Robert’s Big for almost 4 years.  They cook, play sports, play games and eat Subway. Tom has never been late or missed a time to see Robert.  He also goes to Robert’s baseball games when he is not working.  Robert loves his Big Brother Tom very much!

Robert’s mom, Maureen

Skyler is the most awesome Big Sister.  She is outstanding with my daughter Kinzi.  We all inspired by her. Thank you Big Brothers Big Sisters for bringing Skyler into our lives.

Kinzi’s mom, Magan

Elizabeth’s Big Sister Silvia genuinely cares. She’s always asking how she can be more involved and Elizabeth’s academics are improving.  Silvia write her sweet notes and buys her gifts for special occasions. We truly appreciate her!

Elizabeth’s mom, Maria

Ryan has been so incredible in supporting my son who has been undergoing a lot of stress with his biological dad who was deemed emotionally/psychologically abusive by CPS.  He has taken him camping and was willing to do it again with a few of my son’s friends for his birthday. Ryan spends time just playing games with him and they enjoy going to agency events. Ryan calls just to say hi and is very giving of himself. It may have taken over 3 years to get matched, but Ryan is very much worth it.

Raven’s mom, Veronica

Mr. Flatley came into my son’s life in 2013, and for six and a half years now he has continued with their weekly Tuesday visits. He is always there to help my son, support him and have fun with him. He has stepped in and helped when my son needed a man to talk to. He is the main male role model in my son’s life and has been wonderful. Even when Rob has his own personal things going on in his life, he sticks to their plans and can always be counted on. He taught my son how to interview with a scholarship committee that resulted in my son receiving a full scholarship to a private school for middle school. He attends football games, and cheers him on. Without going into details, Robert and his wife have recently had done health concerns going on and still has the energy needed to remain dedicated to his meetings with my son. Even when my son had told him he understands if he needs to take a couple weeks off, he hasn’t. Rob has stuck by my son even when Deandre made it very difficult to do so. Rob has got a heart of gold and always helps my son be the best he can.

Deandre’s mom, Paula

Phi is a wonderful Big. He takes my son at least 1 or 2 days on the weekends to do activities or just hang out. He has lunch with him at school. He calls several times during the week to see how Alex’s day was and to check on him. He works and goes to school full-time. Phi is extremely caring, kind and considerate of others. We are very blessed to have Phi in Alex’s life!!!

Alex’s mom, Cindy

Marcos has made a huge positive difference in my grandson Isaiah’s life. I have been raising Isaiah since he was a baby, alone. Marcos has and continues to be the best mentor ever to my child in so many ways. We met Marcos when Isaiah was 7yrs old. He is now 14. Isaiah looks up and respects his big brother Marcos. Marcos has never forgotten Isaiah, they both keep in touch with one another. We consider each other as family forever. We love Marcos and we thank God for Big Brothers Big Sisters and their ability to find the perfect match. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This is the best program ever!!!

Isaiah’s grandma, Debbie

My two children and I moved to Texas a year and a half ago.  I am so fortunate that my son Liam was able to be matched in the program with a wonderful Big Brother, Oais.  This man has made a positive impact on all three of us.   He’s always asking how he can help and works closely to help Liam manage his issues such as dealing with bullying and missing his dad.  He is consistent and reliable and everything we need right now.

Liam’s mom, Erika

I’ve been raising my brother for several years.  It’s been very important to me to make sure he has a caring adult role model.  Nick has been such a huge blessing to our family ever since my brother Andres met him! He is the best Big, taking time out of his weekend every month or even every two weeks to spend with Andrew.

Andres’s sister, Destiny

My daughter Serenity has a wonderful Big Sister in Kelsie.  Every time Serenity comes home from spending the day with Kelsie I can see how happy she is.   My daughter is able to share things with her Big Sister that I know she can’t share with me.  I am so happy and relieved that she is able to have that kind of relationship with Kelsie, she is awesome.  It makes me so happy that Serenity has such a positive person to look up to.

Serenity’s mom, Janis

Katie is a wonderful role model for my daughter Mercedes.  They have been matched for 10 years and she treats Mercedes like a member of her family!

Mercedes’s mom, Lisa

Larry is a wonderful Big Brother for my son Jayden. He shows how much he cares by taking time every week to check in on Jayden.  I have seen a big improvement in Jayden’s behavior and happiness since Larry has come along.

Jayden’s mom, Marian

I’m so happy that my daughter Xiomara has learned so much from her Big Sister Mary Beth.  She has taught her that there are a lot of different ways to have fun.   I love that Mary Beth is showing her that you don’t need a lot of money to have fun. 

Xiomara’s mom, Leticia

I am so lucky that both of my sons have wonderful mentors through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  Ahmir’s Big Brother Michael is awesome.  Michael is always checking in on Ahmir.  He makes sure that Ahmir is completing his school projects.  He goes out of his way to attend Ahmir’s basketball games and I love that he takes him along to do community service projects.   I’m so amazed that Michael, as busy as he is, always finds time to hang out with Ahmir. I really appreciate that.

Ahmir’s mom, Courtney

My daughter Liliana has a wonderful Big Sister. Katherine does an awesome job mentoring her, she even volunteers with her Girl Scout troop. Even though she is busy, Katherine goes above and beyond to make time for Liliana, sometimes they see each other every week. We are so happy that Katherine is in our lives.

Liliana’s mom, Felicitas

Kathy is a huge blessing to my daughter Caitlin. From the very beginning Kathy has worked to teach Caitlin about proper nutrition and exercise. She showed her how to pick out fresh fruit and the best way to work out. Now Kathy is helping Caitlin research colleges. They discuss how to pay for it, and how to manage money wisely. Kathy’s husband Charles is a large part of the relationship as well. They both spend quality time with Caitlin and encourage her to follow her dreams. Through all of the good times and bad, Kathy and Charles have been there for Caitlin. They have never been judgmental of her and only offer the purest forms of encouragement and love. In a world with so much negativity, Kathy and Charles are breath of fresh air and positivity.

Caitlin’s mom, Teri

My son Jose’s Big Brother Jose is caring, outgoing and easy to talk to. They even have the same name! He motivates my son to make better choices. Jose is everything I ever wanted in a role model for my child.

Jose’s mom, Cristina

Tony’s Big Brother Josh is so attentive! He’s always calls and making sure Tony is OK and doing well. We are blessed to have Josh in our life! He is kind, caring, and Tony always talks about all the fun they have. Thank you Josh.

Tony’s Mom, Leticia

I am so happy that my son, Hunter has such a great role-model in David. David stays in contact and visits with him consistently. David does an awesome job as a mentor.

Hunter’s Mom, Kristine

Debra has been Hayden’s Big Sister for 5 years. She cares about him he just loves her!

Hayden’s Mom, Joyce

Emma is such a great role model for my son Jeremiah.  He has grown up with her support as they have been matched for 9 years!  Our whole family loves Emma so much. 

Jeremiah’s mom, Lisa

John helps my son Xavier develop the skills he needs to be a leader.

Xavier’s Mom, Ruby

John has been mentoring Chris, since Elementary school. Chris is now a Freshman in College. When John came into Chris’s life, Chris was very insecure about himself, but John would always seem to say the right words to Chris at every visit. Chris’s behavior at school even started to get better and better. Chris would always say: “You know, John is right I should look at life in a different perspective. And he always reminds me how great I am.” Recently Chris called me from college very upset and wanting to come home. I convinced him to call John and he did. Chris said that after speaking with John he was confident he could face his problem and “give it all I got.” It has not been easy for Chris with a mother on drugs and a missing father. I am very proud of him and ever so grateful to his Big brother, John. Thanks to Big Brothers Big Sisters you have done great!

Chris’s mom, Consuelo

Jimmy has ALWAYS been there for my son, Brenden, since day 1 they were matched up. Brendan looks forward to every moment with him. He helps with homework, he has had talks with him in order for him to make better choices, and they have so much fun together whether it’s playing video games, going somewhere entertaining or watching a movie. Jimmy also gave Brenden a nickname, “Bren-diesel,” and it’s a name only Jimmy calls him. It makes him feel special. Brenden told me something recently about Jimmy and it made me smile. He said, “Mom, Mr. Jimmy is always nice to me & we do some cool things together. Sometimes I look at him like a dad. I know he’s not my dad but I wish I had one like him.” That was the moment I knew that Jimmy is an awesome guy because my son really looks up to him.

Brenden’s mom, LaJuanta

Courtney has brought so much joy to my son Kyron’s life. We’ve only known her a short time but she’s a extraordinary example of the kind of Big Sister that every kids should have.

Kyron’s Mom, Jennifer

Grant has made a huge impact on my sons life for the little amount of time he’s known him. My son enjoys their time.

Ricky’s Mom, Savannah

Herbert (Herb) has been extremely dedicated to trying to better Jose’s life. Herb never gives up on Jose and is very patient and compassionate. Herb proves to be very firm when he needs to be and does not ponder on behaviors and choices Jose makes. Herb has given him the male positive figure he needs.

Jose’s Mom, Debra

Jeff is a caring and great Big Brother! He teaches my son Dominic leadership, discipline, and empathy. He listens to Dominic and helps this shy kid become confident! We need more young leaders like Jeff! Dominic is becoming a strong and confident kid!

Dominic’s Mom, Ruthie

Thank GOD for the BBBS Program and the Awesome match he was blessed with for my son Troy. From the first day we all met, it was like Karina had always been part of our family. She has really inspired, motivated and been an AWESOME Big Sister for my son. Thank you for the BBBS Program and Karina for being a big part of our family for six years.

Troy’s Mom, Liz

Jada is fantastic with my daughter La’Zia. She communicates very well. She goes above and beyond to bond with my daughter. She is a God sent and I really believe Jada needs to be recognized.

La’Zia’s mom, Tuwanna

Daniel is exactly what I was looking for. He is so patient with my son Dylan, and spends quality time with him exercising🏃‍♂️.

Dylan’s Mom, Angela

Chris is very dedicated to his role as a mentor. He is a great example of a male role model for my son Tiernan. We appreciate him so much!

Tiernan’s mom, Donetta

Charles is awesome with my son Vynzell. The program is a blessing!

Vynzell’s mom, Temeka

Cassandra is kind and considerate. Chris always comes home happy after spending time with her. He never lets her leave home without a hug.

Chris’s mom, Debra

Adah has changed my son, Jalen’s life! Over the past 3 years she has helped him in so many ways, even to improve his basketball skills. I love her as much Jalen does.

Jalen’s mom, Lynette

Bret has been a big inspiration to my family. He goes above and beyond the call of a Big Brother. He has encouraged my son to be better, achieve more, and has exposed him to so many things he may not have had the opportunity to see or know about 

D’Mahrea’s Mom, Natasha

Allantae takes the time to attend my son’s football and basketball games. I truly appreciate the time he takes to be a mentor to my son.

Amaryon’s mom, Courtney

My daughter, Ception’s mentor, Amber, is a wonderful person. It’s like we are all family.  Amber makes Ception feel loved and special.

Ception’s mom, Ashley

I know that kids sometimes want someone else to confide in. My daughter Rhianna looks up to her Big Sister Audra because of what a great person and wife she is.

Rhianna’s mom, Yvette