Big Brothers Big Sisters honored as Small Agency of the Year

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County staff, from left to right: Heather Darling, Abbe Bresciano, Jennifer Webster, Ericka Almeida, Sylvia Rataj and Jess Leobel. Contributed Photo

For the Recorder
Published: 7/6/2022 4:15:02 PM
Modified: 7/6/2022 4:12:24 PM

GREENFIELD — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County’s mentoring program is gaining recognition, with the organization having recently been honored as Small Agency of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America during the 2022 Bigger Together Celebration in Indianapolis.

Jennifer Webster, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, said in a press release that the organization was recognized for its “innovative and impactful mentor support initiative that brings together volunteer mentors with trainers and clinicians from the local community for professional support around common mentoring challenges.”

Webster focused her acceptance speech on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ desire to help children struggling with trauma.

“We want to create safe and inclusive spaces to have hard conversations and allow folks to connect with peers who are facing similar challenges,” she said. “We are proud to lead in this collective way and share this model throughout the BBBS Federation.”

Additionally, the organization was recognized for its longstanding programs that have high school students mentor younger students in their school district. According to the press release, this multifaceted leadership training program addresses many different social and emotional development stages for both older and younger youths.

Lastly, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County was highlighted for its strong community collaboration in initiating “Light Up the Fairgrounds,” a drive-thru holiday light show at the Franklin County Fairgrounds that spreads holiday cheer while raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The event was first organized in 2020.

“It is my absolute pleasure to celebrate our agencies across the nation that have shown extraordinary dedication to not only their organization, but to supporting their local communities, as well,” Artis Stevens, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, said in the press release.

The award was meant to honor the best Small Agency of 2022. Big Brothers Big Sisters is divided into 240 small, small-medium, medium and large agencies nationwide. Three-quarters of the agencies fall into the first two categories. This is the first time that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County has received the award in its 55 years of operation.

“It inspires us to continue innovating and meeting our constituents where they are,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County Development Director Ericka Almeida, “and giving more support around common mentoring challenges.”


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