The Big of the Year winners are announced annually on Thank Your Mentor Day, part of National Mentoring Month. This year, the local campaign is powered by 100 Companies Who Care, a proud sponsor that believes in the ability of youth mentoring to make a life-changing impact for children in the community.
Big Brother: Warren
Little Brother: Jose
Matched since August 11, 2016
Warren Delos Angeles has been named the 2019 Big Brother of the Year for his dedication to his Little Brother, Jose, and above-and-beyond support of youth mentoring in Orange County.
One year ago, Little Brother Jose reached a crossroads in his life. He had been kicked out of multiple schools. Graduation seemed impossible.
But his mentor, Big Brother Warren, saw potential in Jose. When they met through Big Brothers Big Sisters, Warren saw a smart kid who had made some mistakes. He saw a 17-year-old yearning for a second chance in life. A chance to earn his high school diploma. Accepting help from others was usually difficult for Jose. He’d built protective walls around himself and refused to let anyone in.
“All I can do is support him and keep trying,” Warren says. “Why do I keep trying? Because no one else before me had ever given him the consistency that he deserved and unknowingly needed. If I stop now, I will be just like every other adult he has come in contact with that failed him.”
To help Jose, Warren pitched a residential education program called Sunburst Youth Academy, which helps teens who have dropped out of school find a way to succeed outside of the traditional school setting.
Jose entered Sunburst unaware of what he could accomplish. Just five months later, he emerged as a distinguished honor roll student and graduated with straight A’s. He was proud to show Warren the tassels he wore on his uniform every day. This was a different Jose, a more motivated version of himself who knew he could accomplish more with a mentor in his corner.
Graduation from the academy didn’t mark the end of the journey, but the start of a new one for Warren and Jose. With a greater understanding of his potential and someone by his side offering unconditional guidance and support, Jose can take the next steps toward his bright future.