Transformative Mentorship: Inside the High School Bigs Leadership Summit

Transformative Mentorship: Inside the High School Bigs Leadership Summit

Transformative Mentorship: Inside the High School Bigs Leadership Summit

Big Brothers Big Sisters Hosts Transformative Gathering of Mentorship and Inspiration for Orange County High School Students

SANTA ANA, Calif. – On March 9, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County hosted its Spring 2024 Leadership Summit, The Power of Words Conference. The event proved to be a beacon of inspiration and empowerment that not only broke previous summit attendance records, but also left an indelible mark on all 115 eager individuals who participated. Attendees included current volunteer mentors in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ High School Bigs programs across Orange County, as well as alumni volunteers, BBBS staff, and school partner liaisons.

The day kicked off with a warm welcome from Laurie Peterson, Chief Financial Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire, who underscored the profound impact of the High School Bigs program and the transformative power of words in amplifying its reach. From there, attendees delved into two enriching workshops designed to hone their leadership skills and deepen their understanding of the mentoring mission. In the “Reframing Language” workshop, participants engaged in exercises aimed at refining their external presentation and crafting compelling elevator pitches. Meanwhile, in the “Collective Action and Resource Utilization: Bridges Over Poverty” workshop, volunteers collaborated to identify vital resources that serve as pillars of stability and springboards for future aspirations.

One of the summit’s highlights was the “Empowered Community Leaders Panel,” where seasoned high school volunteers shared their mentoring journeys, offering invaluable insights and inspiration to guide their peers. Their stories resonated deeply, fueling a collective passion to serve and lead Big Brothers Big Sisters clubs on school campuses across Orange County.

A presentation by Dr. Jessica Martinez on the impact of institutional relationships and connections through leadership programs like High School Bigs provided a fitting conclusion to the summit. Her research underscored the profound ripple effects of mentorship, inspiring attendees to apply their newfound skills and knowledge in their communities. As the event drew to a close, students departed with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to the High School Bigs mentoring program.

In the journey of leadership and mentorship, every word spoken, every connection forged, and every action taken holds the power to shape a brighter future. The bi-annual Leadership Summits not only equip students with practical tools for leadership, but also instill in them the belief that they are the leaders, change makers, and advocates of their communities. We extend our  heartfelt gratitude to all who attended the Spring 2024 Leadership Summit, and we look forward to welcoming them back for future events. Together, let us affirm ourselves and those around us as we continue to pave the way for tomorrow’s leaders.

Thank you to our generous partners whose support helped make this event possible, including Angelitos de Oro, Brethren Community Foundation, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Hoag, Pacific Life Foundation, and Waltmar Fondation, Inc.

High School Bigs is a peer mentoring program that connects elementary school students with a mentor from a local high school. During weekly, after-school group sessions—facilitated by Big Brothers Big Sisters—mentees are able to build a friendship with a positive role model while mentors are able to find their voices as leaders, community advocates, and philanthropists. To learn more about how the High School Bigs program develops future leaders, click here.

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