BBBS Celebrates National Mentoring Month ~ 2018 ‘Bigs of the Year’ Announced

Who has made a difference in your life? Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas invites people to consider this question in January during National Mentoring Month. National Mentoring Month is a time to recognize and honor those who serve as mentors, role models, resources, advisers and guides, changing others’ lives for the better, forever.

“As we enter a new year, it is only appropriate to pause and consider the importance of volunteerism at BBBS. National Mentoring Month is a good reminder that we can only realize our vision of helping children achieve success in life because of the service of our volunteer mentors – our Big Brothers and Sisters,” said Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS of Central Texas.

“This past year our Bigs contributed almost 60,000 hours of volunteer service to our Littles.  You can’t put a price tag on that kind of contribution and it’s critical to everything we do.  On behalf of our staff, board, donors, and about 1,000 kids served last year – I want to say a big “THANKS” to everyone serving in this transformational way!”

“National Mentoring Month is a great time for BBBS,” said Joe Strychalski, Vice President of Programs. “Not only are we able to thank and recognize our amazing volunteers, but it’s also a terrific opportunity for us to share more about the power of mentoring, spread awareness of all the work that BBBS is doing in the community, and recruit new volunteers for the program!  January is by far our busiest time for inquiries from both prospective parents and volunteers, which is great – we are always in need of new volunteers, especially men and bilingual Bigs!”

During National Mentoring Month BBBS also recognizes its volunteers by announcing the agency’s 2018 Central Texas ‘Bigs of the Year.’  Winners at the local level are considered for statewide, and then possibly national, Big of the Year honors. BBBS of Central Texas’ 2018 Bigs of the Year are Big Sister Maggie Johnson and Big Brother Nicholas Johnson (no relation). The agency’s 2018 Big Couple is Connie and Bill Nelson. Maggie Johnson has also been recognized as the 2018 Big Sister of the Year for the state of Texas.

Big Sister Maggie Johnson, Kirida, and Theresa McDaniels

Big Sister Maggie Johnson, Kirida, and Theresa McDaniels

“Kirida, my Little Sister, was struggling in school when I first met her,” said Big Sister Maggie. “She was often in trouble for fighting due to bullying from other students, and she was regularly suspended from school.” All of that started to change when Maggie became Kirida’s Big Sister. While others told Kirida that she would likely end up dead or in jail, Maggie helped Kirida build her self-esteem and coping strategies. As a result, Kirida graduated from high school in the top 5% of her class, has received numerous honors and awards, and has just finished her first semester as a first-generation college student at Texas A&M.

“Our mentoring relationship gave Kirida support when she needed it the most and someone to cheer her on when things got tough,” said Maggie. “Kirida is one of the most resilient and determined young women I know, and she has been an inspiration and a wonderful addition to my life. She has said that she feels like we are “family” and always will be. I feel the same way and think that we will be connected for a very long time.” Their story is just one example of the positive power of mentoring.

Mentoring Month is a time for all of us to remember and thank our mentors – people who took the time to be there for us, and who helped us achieve greater success than we could have on our own. At BBBS we are proud to continue this rich tradition of giving back, and we are honored to work alongside the almost 1,000 Big Brothers and Sisters who are making a difference in children’s lives every day.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texaswww.BigMentoring.org • 4800 Manor Road • Austin, Texas 78723 • 512.472.5437

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas serves nearly 1,000 children in Central Texas every day. For over 47 years, we’ve matched children, ages 6–16, with caring adult mentors who offer encouragement and support to each child. BBBS depends on donations to recruit, screen and train volunteers, and to provide on-going support for children, families and volunteers as they build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Last year, more than 98 percent of the children served by BBBS remained in school and avoided early parenting.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Receives National Board of the Year Award

(L to R) Rudy J. Baldoni, National Board Chair BBBS of America; Joe Strychalski, VP of Programs BBBS of Central Texas, Carlos Barbosa, Board Chair BBBS of Central Texas, Pam Iorio, President and CEO BBBS of America

(L to R) Rudy J. Baldoni, National Board Chair BBBS of America; Joe Strychalski, VP of Programs BBBS of Central Texas, Carlos Barbosa, Board Chair BBBS of Central Texas, Pam Iorio, President and CEO BBBS of America.

Originally announced by Brenda Lindfors, Vice President of Marketing & Communications of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas is the winner of the national Board of the Year award given by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). This is the second time the local agency has won the award in the last five years. The top local agencies and agency boards were recognized during BBBSA’s 2017 National Conference held June 25 – 28 in San Diego, California. Receiving the award for BBBS of Central Texas were Board Chair Carlos Barbosa and Vice President of Programs Joe Strychalski.

“I am so proud and honored to lead a fantastic and engaged executive board that does whatever is needed to support the agency’s mission,” said Barbosa. “Of course, none of what has been achieved is possible without a dynamic CEO, Brent Fields, and an amazing agency staff that does the real work every day. This award validates all of the agency’s exceptional work on behalf of children and families in Central Texas!”

Agency boards have a profound impact on the success of the agencies they serve, raising funds, sharing the organizations’ good work, influencing decision-making, and shaping programming. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Nationwide Leadership Council selected the winners of the 2017 Board of the Year awards based on growth in the number of children served, quality and length of mentoring matches, and growth in agency revenue.

“Receiving this award is a great honor,” said BBBS CEO Brent Fields. “Thank you to our amazing Board of Directors, to our volunteers, and to supporters who continue to invest in this transformational mission.”

BBBS of Central Texas was also a finalist for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Agency of the Year award. Earlier this year the agency won the National Gold Standard Award, one of only 16 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the nation to receive the recognition.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texaswww.BigMentoring.org • 1400 Tillery Street • Austin, Texas 78721 • 512.472.5437

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas serves nearly 1,000 children in Central Texas every day. For over 45 years, we’ve matched children, ages 6–16, with caring adult mentors who offer encouragement and support to each child. BBBS depends on donations to recruit, screen and train volunteers, and to provide on-going support for children, families and volunteers as they build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Last year, more than 98 percent of the children served by BBBS remained in school and avoided early parenting.

Champions Contribute to Champions Mercedes-Benz Contributes $10,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas

It was a championship day for two-person teams as they competed in the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Championship golf tournament that benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. The tournament is a nationwide amateur-only golf program and was held at the Barton Creek Country Club, June 6, 2016.

“It is golfing for a cause,” said Patty Morton, BBBS’ Special Events Manager. “It’s a great competition for golfers, and at the same time they are contributing to help kids in the community. Thanks to Mercedes-Benz for supporting the everyday champions who mentor kids.”

Tournament winners represent Mercedes-Benz of Austin and advance to the sectional tournament at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. Sectional winners then advance to the National Final to be held at West Lake Country Club, April 2017.

Proceeds from this event will support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring services for youth in Central Texas.

Join InFluential Magazine in Support of the Ice Ball 2016

InFluential Magazine is thrilled to once again support and sponsor the Ice Ball benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Ice Ball 2016
August 20, 2016
6:00 p.m. – Until
Hyatt Regency Austin
208 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas

About the Ice Ball

Join Big Brothers Big Sisters for the brightest gem of Austin’s charity events, the Ice Ball, featuring hors d’oeuvres, seated dinner, icy cocktails, live auction and entertainment in the newest ballroom in downtown Austin. One hundred percent of funds raised are used locally to create and nurture life-changing friendships between at-risk youth and caring adult mentors. Come spend an evening that will make a lifetime of difference for a child.

How Kids Benefit

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ one-to-one mentoring model helps kids facing adversity achieve measurable outcomes leading to lifelong success. Your support makes it possible for BBBS to create and nurture these life-changing relationships between the children we serve and caring adult mentors. By providing professional support for a child and their volunteer mentor, BBBS achieves impressive results. In 2015, of youth mentored:

  • 99% stayed in school
  • 99% avoided teen pregnancy
  • 97% maintained or improved their grades

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas provides young people in our community – particularly those facing adversity – with the skills, support and guidance to achieve success in life.

We do this by creating caring one-to-one relationships between children and adult volunteers who serve as mentors, providing guidance, friendship and support.
Our unique model of one-to-one mentoring has a direct and lasting e ect on the lives of young people, their families and our community as a whole. Research shows that youth in our program have more con dence and better grades and social skills than their peers. They are significantly less likely to use drugs or alcohol, skip school or exhibit violent behavior.

Your investment in our program has a huge impact on youth, families and the greater Austin community. This year our volunteers will provide 60,000 hours of mentoring to approximately 1,000 children in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties. Last year, more than 98% of our Little Brothers and Sisters stayed in school, improved their grades and avoided early parenting.
The impacts of our program are great, but the need is even greater.

For every child we serve, there is another child on our waiting list longing to be matched with a caring mentor of their own.
With your help, we can provide more children with the opportunities for success that they so richly deserve.

Learn more at www.BigMentoring.org

National Mentoring Month and BBBS’ Central Texas ‘Bigs of the Year’

Who made a difference in your life? Whose life will you impact? Appropriate questions to ask in January as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas (BBBS) celebrates National Mentoring month; a time to honor individuals who give of themselves to provide opportunities for others.

“National Mentoring Month gives us a chance to share the incredible impact that mentoring has on our community’s young people,” said Joe Strychalski, BBBS’ Vice President of Programs. “We use this time to recognize and thank our current Big Brothers and Sisters for their involvement and also to raise awareness of the need for even more individuals, community groups and businesses to step in and engage in this life-changing work.”

Included in this month of mentoring recognition is the announcement of BBBS’ ‘Bigs of the Year.’ A local Big Brother and Sister are chosen to receive this honor annually. Central Texas’ awardees go on to be considered for statewide, and then possibly, national, ‘Big of the Year’ honors. BBBS’ 2016 Central Texas Bigs of the Year are Shannon Mouser and Albert Swantner. Shannon Mouser has been selected Texas’ 2016 Big Sister of the Year as well.

Giving back to the community is the reason Albert Swantner cites for getting involved with BBBS. Swantner has enjoyed a three-year relationship with his Little Brother, Josh, that has transformed both of them. “Once you realize that even your smallest actions can affect someone, it changes your whole outlook,” Swantner said.

“My desire to be a Big Sister was not only about being there for a child, but about giving back the kindness that was given to me, being an example for others and paying it forward,” Shannon Mouser explained, adding “My match with Mykayla has led me to one the most meaningful relationships, and one of the most amazing people, I’ve ever known.”

National Mentoring month reminds us of those who have made a difference in our own lives and allows us to acknowledge those whose contributions are helping others every day.

Featuring InFluential Magazine Contributing Writer Lester Sprouse

Lester Sprouse is the managing partner for the Austin Offices of Padgett Stratemann, one of Texas’ largest, locally-owned CPA and business advisory firms. An Austin native with a BBA in Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin, Sprouse has over 30 years experience in auditing, accounting, and financial reporting in the commercial, governmental and regulatory industries. Affiliated with multiple organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) and the Austin Chapter of TSCPA, Sprouse’s perspective and experience with the Austin business scene has helped him successfully advise countless Austin individuals and businesses.

 

Mr. Sprouse authored the featured editorial titled Padgett Stratemann, Big Brothers Big Sisters ~ Redefining Corporate Philanthropy, which we invite you to read.

Country Run Kicks Up Record Attendance

Photographs of participants enjoying the 2015 Corner Store Run benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas courtesy of Corner Store. 

The 2015 Annual Corner Store Country Run had over 5,000 entrants and over 100 volunteers; a 150% increase over last year! The event, held Sunday, October 11 at the Dell Diamond, raised $45,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas (BBBS).

“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas is so honored to partner with the Corner Store on this amazingly fun event,” said Brent Fields, BBBS’ CEO. “We offer a “Big” thank you to the Corner Store for their continued support of our mission.  It is events like these that enable us to continue to positively impact children and families in our community.”

It was a festive occasion as participants dressed in their favorite cowgirl or cowboy outfits to compete in this 5K event. The entrants didn’t have to run. They were encouraged to gallop, trot, or do-si-do their way across the finish line. Along the way, participants encountered giant inflatable pigs and cows and farm-themed zones like the Hay Harvest, the Tractor Yard, and the Chicken Coop.


“This event was terrific!” said Alida Tallman, BBBS’ Vice President of Development. “Thank you to the runners, the volunteers and to Corner Store for creating a fun event that has such a lasting impact on children’s lives.”

When the race was over, participants were invited to stick around for a free, family-friendly Country Fair featuring carnival games, food, a beer garden and live music performed by The Emotions.

The Corner Store Country Run is set to take place in 10 cities across the U.S. and Canada this year including Montreal, Syracuse, Denver, and Phoenix. In 2014, the run raised a net total of $1 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, as well as local children’s charities.

This year’s 5K featured optional chip timing for competitive runners. Other new features included an option for runners to help raise funds from friends and family for the race beneficiaries. Additional revenues came from participant registrations, corporate sponsors and Corner Store customers who donated at the register in participating locations.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texaswww.BigMentoring.org • 1400 Tillery Street • Austin, Texas 78721 • 512.472.5437.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Receives Non-Profit Award

Join us in congratulating Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas!

On Thursday, August 27, 2015 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas was honored with the Blackbaud & Entrepreneurs Foundation Non-Profit Award at the 15th Annual Greater Austin Business Awards sponsored by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented in front of 1,000 attendees at the Hilton Austin.

“We are very excited and honored to receive this recognition and much credit is due to our amazing staff, committed volunteers and generous supporters,” said Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS. “We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Blackbaud and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Austin for their role in this great event and for their support of non-profit organizations in our community.”

The award recognizes a Section 501(c)(3) public charity or private foundation that is tirelessly focused on serving the community through collaborative partnerships and impactful programming.

About 300 companies were nominated for the Chamber’s Business Awards. The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges.

“We are proud to recognize outstanding businesses in our community who are leading the way in diversity, innovation and creating prosperity for the Central Texas economy,” said Phyllis Snodgrass, Chief Operating Officer, Austin Chamber of Commerce. “It’s an honor to celebrate the many companies involved in our local communities and share a passion to keep Austin a great place to live, work and play.”

The Cook-Walden Community Relations Award was presented to BBBS sponsor Padgett Stratemann & Co., and Rackspace, another BBBS sponsor, received the Higginbotham Health & Wellness Award. The Business Class Customer Service and Loyalty Award went to Build A Sign, a BBBS collaborator and friend.

“We are pleased to be in the company of so many great organizations,” said Fields, “and to have the impact of our work in the community recognized.”

For further information, contact Brenda Lindfors, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas at 512-807-3612 or at blindfors@bigmentoring.org

An Evening That Makes a Lifetime of Difference

 

Ice Ball 2015

Saturday, August 22
Hyatt Regency Austin

Join Big Brothers Big Sisters for the  Ice Ball, featuring hors d’oeuvres, seated dinner, icy cocktails, live auction and entertainment in downtown Austin. One hundred percent of funds raised are used locally to create and nurture life-changing friendships between youth and caring adult mentors. Come spend an evening that will make a lifetime of difference for a child.

Early Bird ticket prices through July 31st!

Ice Ball 2013 ~ A Video Recap

This year, 600 people attended the Ice Ball, raising an amazing $350,000 for kids in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters at www.BigMentoring.org — or the Ice Ball at www.AustinIceBall.org.  Thanks to our friends at Castleview Productions (castleviewproductions.com) for creating this wonderful video.

Look carefully, our publisher and founder William Jackson can be found enjoying the music.