SANTA ANA, Calif. (Jan. 6, 2020) – Kicking off National Mentoring Month, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire is recognizing exceptional volunteers who went above and beyond in the local community. The nonprofit, which matches youth facing adversity (Littles) one-to-one with a caring mentor (Bigs), today announced the 2020 Big of the Year finalists in Orange County:
Big Brother of the Year finalists
- Kyle Cormier of Costa Mesa
- Koenraad Lecot of Costa Mesa
- Jacob Mize of Fullerton
- Ricardo Rivas of Santa Ana
- John Viscounty of Santa Ana
Big Sister of the Year finalists
- Valisa Carney of Redlands
- Bonny Chou of Long Beach
- Catherine Helshoj of Laguna Beach
- Jasmine Johnson of Fullerton
- Marilyn Stemper of Corona del Mar
This year’s finalists have demonstrated significant impact in the lives of their Littles, evidenced by each child’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional progress. Finalists have demonstrated a passion for the organization’s mission and have been champions for Big Brothers Big Sisters through recruitment efforts and advocacy of mentorship in the community.
“Our Big of the Year finalists are a testament to the impact that mentorship can have on underserved youth,” said Sloane Keane, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire. “Mentors like these 10 individuals help empower youth and ignite their inherent potential so they can navigate difficult situations and thrive. This National Mentoring Month, we are so proud to honor our finalists and thank our thousands of volunteers who go above and beyond in their commitment to creating positive change.”
Orange County Big of the Year winners will be announced Jan. 28 at the organization’s volunteer information event, Big Night. Community members are invited to attend Big Night at Left Coast Brewing in Irvine at 6 p.m. to learn more about how to give back and invest in local youth by becoming a mentor.
National Mentoring Month is empowered locally by Dot Dot Smile. Guided by a purpose to Create Smiles and Build Confidence, DotDotSmile believes in people and helping them to a path where they can thrive.
To learn more about the organization and how to get involved, visit: www.ocbigs.org or www.iebigs.org.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire
Big Brothers Big Sisters believes every child is born with potential. Yet, one-third of the nation’s youth are growing up without a mentor who can help them overcome challenges such as poverty, unstable housing, absentee parents and lack of access to educational resources. Since 1958, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire has provided youth facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships. With a mentor, youth are able to achieve milestones such as high school graduation, set postsecondary goals and strive for long-term success as they achieve their full potential. For more information visit ocbigs.org or iebigs.org.