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Month: March 2016

Eliana and Stephanie

The following is written by Stephanie and Eliana’s Program Coordinator, Kohl Marrtin.

May will mark 2 years since Big Sister Stephanie was matched with Little Sister Eliana and it has been a great experience for both of them. This match has really been a great experience to watch grow, change, and adapt. They have been through a lot together and the road hasn’t always been smooth.

I met Stephanie and Eliana when BBBST had a tailgate party for a UA Wildcat football game. Eliana was a little bit shy. I asked about her Big Sister and she said it was still early in the match and they were feeling each other out. Stephanie told me about some of things they had already done in the 4 months they had been matched. Eliana said they had gone to Colossal Cave, seen a movie, and just hung out and talked. Stephanie said that Eliana was training to ride El Tour de Tucson. Eliana said that if she made it through all the training and finished the ride, she would get to keep her bike. Stephanie is very professional and I was sure of how the relationship was going at this point. It wasn’t until a few months later I began to understand the dynamic.

I talked with Stephanie and Eliana’s grandmother and they both had informed me that Eliana was struggling with school. With Eliana’s grandmother’s permission, Stephanie got in touch with Eliana’s teachers to find more about what was going on. Stephanie began to work with Eliana on her homework on some of their outings and gave Eliana some incentives to help motivate her. Slowly, but surely Eliana began to improve.

Stephanie has really been Eliana’s biggest cheerleader besides her grandmother. She was her literal cheerleader when Eliana completed the 40 mile El Tour de Tucson route and got to keep her new bike! Stephanie has never not been there for Eliana. Stephanie seems to know just the right amount to push to give Eliana and that has been proven time and time again in the match. The match really began to solidify just under year into it.

I had gone to meet with Eliana and her grandmother to conduct a survey for a special program Stephanie and Eliana were a part of. I asked Eliana what her favorite thing was about her Big Sister. Eliana said, “She really gets me and understands my situation.” Eliana also said,” Stephanie is very kind and always seems to have the right things to say at the right time.” Eliana’s grandmother said,” Stephanie is firm but fair when it comes to Eliana.” She also said that Stephanie has been extremely helpful and really has gone above beyond her role as Big Sister to help Eliana.

Stephanie has gone above and beyond not only in her match but, as a team player with the agency. Recently, she took it upon herself to create a Facebook group so that Bigs could connect with one another for outings and for networking purposes. The group currently has about 100 members!

Stephanie and her match are inspiring to me as Big because they have shown how a little effort can go a long way. I am happy to report that Eliana recently received an A on a project and that is the first one that she has received since I have known her! Stephanie has been so encouraging and supportive of Eliana and her family. Eliana’s grandmother appreciates it and I know Eliana does.

Stephanie told me that she does what is necessary for any given situation. She said sometimes that you have to give a lot to certain things and pull back on others. She said Eliana is great kid and just needs reassurance. Stephanie has given a lot and said that he gets a lot back from Eliana as well. Stephanie truly embodies the spirit of the program and has been a great asset to the agency but, more importantly to Eliana.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson raises money and awareness with Bowl for Kids Sake 2016 campaign

For Release: March 8th, 2016
Media Contact: Veronica Saiz, veronica@tucsonbigs.org

Tucson, AZ – Big Brothers Big Sisters annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake continues to be one of Tucson’s favorite events for a good cause. With well over 350 people attending, the 35th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake event raised $131,000 for one-to-one mentoring programs.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s largest national fundraiser, raising over $20 million annually for children in need across the country. “Bowl for Kids’ Sake has been a tradition in Tucson for 35 years. It is amazing to see so many people come out every year to support Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. All the money raised in Tucson stays in Tucson, and goes directly to making and supporting mentoring relationships for children and youth facing adversity” said Marie Logan, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Of course, the event wouldn’t be possible without corporate sponsors underwriting the expense of the event. A.F. Sterling Homes has been a sponsor since we started Bowl for Kids’ Sake, and remains the premier sponsor of the event”.

This year KFMA came out in a Big Way to support Big Brothers Big Sisters, raising awareness and fundraising. The morning show personalities, Shmonty and Carolina and the entire KFMA team raised $8,590!

250 children are waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister. For more information about volunteering visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters website at tucsonbigs.org or call (520) 624-2447

    About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. Mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson is to create and support one-to-one adult-to-child mentoring relationships, guiding youth from a position of risk to one of achieving their highest potential. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 53-year history in Tucson, during which, more than 10,000 children have been served—children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military—changing their lives for the better, forever. Our vision is to provide a mentor for every child who needs and wants one. Learn more, volunteer or enroll a child at www.tucsonbigs.org

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PRESS RELEASE
Big Brothers Big Sisters receives Cox Technology Grant

In honor of the launch of GIGABLAST in Tucson, and in an effort to continue the expansion of technology in Tucson, Cox will donate a $15k technology center to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson. The center will be located in the Big Brothers Big Sisters downtown location.

“Cox has enjoyed a long partnership with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Tucson, and I truly admire the good work they do to provide valuable mentors for youth in our community, said Lisa Lovallo, Market Vice President, Cox Communications Southern Arizona. “Developing young minds through technology is something Cox is firmly behind. We are pleased to not only expand technology in Tucson through the launch of Gig speeds today, but know this technology center will position the agency for success well into the future.”

The Cox Technology Center will be a part of the BBBS Mentoring Toward College and Career (MCC) program. This program matches youth in 9th grade through high school, with mentors who are interested in helping these youth get their first job, explore careers after high school, and navigating college and career choices.

Students in this program will write resumes for their first job search, practice interviewing with human resource volunteers, search online for jobs, college information, prepare for SATs, and apply for grants and scholarships, using the Cox Technology Center.

“So many of the children and youth in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program don’t have access to the technology needed to succeed in school and career. The Cox Technology Center will be a great resource for these kids. We greatly appreciate the Cox investment in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and the youth of Tucson”, said Marie Logan, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sister of Tucson.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth — areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency, and college or job readiness. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 52 year history. For more information, to volunteer, or donate visit www.tucsonbigs.org

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