Big Brothers Big Sisters Announces Big Brother, Big Sister of the Year
MIAMI, June 16, 2009 — Big Brothers Big Sisters this week will recognize its Big Brother of the Year and Big Sister of the Year at its 2009 National Conference, sponsored by Comcast Corporation. The "Bigs of the Year" are long-term mentors whose volunteer service exemplifies how Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest donor-based volunteer mentoring network, improves the odds for more than 255,000 of America's most vulnerable children.
The 2009 Big Brother of the Year is Ben De Leon, an Austin, Texas attorney matched three years ago with now 10-year old Anthony. The Big Sister of the Year is Debbie Groulik of Fort Wayne, Indiana, matched with her now 18-year-old Little Sister, Jocelyn, for nearly 10 years.
"While we have served children for more than 100 years, this year's Bigs of the Year demonstrate that we are more relevant than ever, particularly as the economy leaves more families in need of support. Many of our Littles are from single-parent homes, families that struggle with poverty or households where a parent is incarcerated," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Judy Vredenburgh. "Our Big Sister's impact on her Little Sister's life mirrors findings of a new study* that shows adolescent girls benefit from having Big Sisters by developing skills and confidence through shared activities. Our Big Brother's impact on his Little Brother illustrates the importance of our recently launched Campaign for Men, an effort to become more engaged in African American and Hispanic communities so that we can serve more boys who disproportionately represent the children ready to be matched," she added.
"Comcast is delighted to sponsor this event and continue our support of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the great work they do to make a difference in the lives of children across the country," said Charisse Lillie, Vice President, Community Investment, Comcast Corporation and Executive Vice President, Comcast Foundation. "We also join Big Brothers Big Sisters in recognizing the Bigs of the Year for being extraordinary role models and their endless dedication to serving their communities."