Photography courtesy of Anthony Johnson Photography.
On Saturday, June 15th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas held its 33rd annual ‘Promising Futures’ scholarship ceremony to recognize and celebrate the educational achievements of nearly 200 students in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program.
$403,000 in scholarship funds were made available to 124 of the agency’s graduating seniors, and $539,500 in scholarship funds were committed to 166 newly eligible Littles, to be made available when they graduate high school.
Alejandrina Guzman, 2017 – 2018 University of Texas Student Body President, was the keynote speaker for the event, which was held at the For the City Center in East Austin. Alejandrina was the first Latina Student Body President at UT Austin, and the first physically differently-abled Student Body President in the Big XII Conference.
“You are capable,” Alejandrina told BBBS’ students. “Your stories of immigrant parents who sacrificed everything for a better life, of the siblings you inspire, of all the beautiful moments you have shared with your Big Brothers and Big Sisters… these stories make up your strength. You have already overcome challenges in your lives, and we’re here to celebrate not only what you’ve accomplished so far, but what you’re capable of achieving.”
BBBS’ Promisees and graduates alike crossed the stage to receive their promise medals and scholarship certificates as their families, friends, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and BBBS staff cheered from the audience.
Jamie Avila, a member of BBBS’ Executive Board, Foundation Board and a former Big Brother, presented the awards to each student. Lauren Petrowski, former news anchor for Fox 7 Austin and a former Big Sister, was the emcee for the event. Speeches were given by Alejandrina Guzman, and BBBS of Central Texas CEO Brent Fields.
“This scholarship means a new future,” said Little Sister Carolina. “I’m looking forward to getting out there and living life.” Carolina is planning on studying web development and computer programming. Her Big Sister Anna attended the ceremony with her.
“The scholarship ceremony is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Brent Fields, “because it so clearly reflects our investment in the power of mentoring. It is such an honor to partner with these amazing families, volunteers and young people. We can’t wait to see where they go, and what they do next.”
“Thanks to our unique BBBS Scholarship Foundation – founded back in 1986, as a powerful incentive for students in our program to graduate high school and pursue higher education – we are able to help lots of young people think differently about their futures and offer some practical, direct financial assistance to help them.”
Since the Scholarship Program’s inception Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas has promised and awarded more than $5 million dollars in scholarship support to over 2,500 students. In addition, 10 schools in Texas now generously match the agency’s scholarship dollars for BBBS Littles.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas • www.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 48 years, we’ve matched children, ages 6 – 16, with caring adult mentors who offer encouragement and support to each child. It is our vision that all youth achieve their biggest possible futures. To that end, BBBS’ mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.