Every year, Big Brothers Big Sisters recognizes two outstanding volunteers who have gone above and beyond as mentors. The 2019 Big of the Year finalists all share a distinct story and serve as advocates for Big Brothers Big Sisters mission.
The winners will be announced January 31 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: Kevin Crilley
Little Brother: David
Matched since January 5, 2017
David spent most of his time on the computer or playing video games in his room. As a Big Brother, Kevin planned engaging activities and found creative ways to inspire David to leave his room and explore the world he knew very little about. A trip to the spa taught David the importance of good hygiene; group activities helped improve David’s social skills. For the first time in his life, David has someone he could relate to and trust.
Big Brother: Warren Delos Angeles
Little Brother: Jose
Matched since August 11, 2016
Jose was kicked out of school and needed a positive male role model. Warren recognized Jose’s potential and helped him get into Sunburst Academy, where he turned his life around. Because of Warren’s mentorship and friendship, Jose graduated as one of the top students in his class. In addition to being a mentor, Warren has been a tireless advocate for Big Brothers Big Sisters by hosting a fundraiser and recruitment event and sharing his story at agency events.
Big Brother: Kalan Klena
Little Brother: Jose
Matched since May 20, 2014
Kal helped Jose harness his excess energy and reshape his attitude toward school. Jose’s discipline has been on display through his newfound interest in reading and as a member of the wrestling team. Beyond serving as a mentor, Kal gives back to other volunteers in the program by sharing his story at events like Big Chat.
Big Brother: Ron Segundo
Little Brother: Joshua
Matched since December 12, 2015
Joshua was so shy that he struggled to make friends. Ron was able to get Joshua to come out of his shell by bringing him to countless match events hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters with one goal in mind: to form one new friendship on each occasion. Joshua’s shyness soon became a thing of the past. He engaged with others, instead of avoiding them.
Big Brother: Michael Yau
Little Brother: Angel
Matched since September 10, 2014
Big Sister: Chris Atkinson
Little Sister: Yuritzi
Matched since November 19, 2015
Yuritzi needed someone to expand her world and teach her new things. Chris educated Yuritizi about budgeting by starting every month with a set amount to spend on their outings. Any remaining funds were saved for special trips to places like Knott’s Berry Farm. She’s been actively involved with our organization for many years now as a two-time Big Sister, and regularly attends volunteer and match events.
Big Sister: Jennie Crandall
Little Sister: Chelsea
Matched since January 30, 2014
Jenny came into Chelsea’s life when she was a teenager without a female role model to look up to. She took Chelsea to get her first haircut and shopping trips for new clothes; Jennie taught her all the things she needed to know as a young woman. Jennie has taken a hands-on approach to ensuring Chelsea’s future success both academically and personally.
Big Sister: Angie Guidry
Little Sister: Ximena
Matched since March 9, 2016
Angie has taken Ximena to places she never imagined going to and motivated her to become one of the top students in her class. Ximena’s confidence has skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Angie is an incredible champion for our program on social media and enabled us to receive additional school supplies and sporting equipment through donations from her company.
Big Sister: Monica Luna
Little Sister: Alyssa
Matched since August 11, 2009
Monica gave her Little Sister, Alyssa, the consistent role model she always wanted. She transformed Alyssa’s outlook on life by teaching her about responsibility and the value of an education. Alyssa’s attitude has become more positive and goal-oriented—she’s now on track to attend a four-year university.
Big Sister: Shea Fitzgerald
Little Sister: Gabriela
Matched since June 24, 2016
Gabriela’s family was going through hard times and her mother wished to give her daughter the one-to-one attention of a mentor. Shea exposed Gabriela to a variety of different experiences and showed her what she can accomplish through hard work. Gabriela appreciates everything Shea has done to change her life; in a note to her Big Sister, she wrote, “You are a sweet Big Sister. Thank you for guiding me.”