For the first time in its 54-year history, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay agency has been named a Pinnacle Award winner for 2018 by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the nationwide mentoring organization’s highest honor.
The award, announced by the Big Brothers Big Sisters Nationwide Leadership Council, recognizes the very best local agencies for increasing their revenue and growing their overall number of Big & Little matches year-over-year for two or more consecutive years. In 2018, the Tampa Bay agency served a record 3,014 children, a 5.6 percent increase over 2017.
“This award is the result of a lot of hard, focused and strategic work by our dedicated staff, board and of course, our great volunteer Bigs,” said Stephen Koch, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. “It is also the result of our donors who believe in defending and inspiring the potential of the wonderful youth we are honored to serve through our evidence-based, outcome-oriented 1-to-1 mentoring programs. We know that there is a lot more work to be done, and we are more committed than ever to continuing to make a positive difference for thousands of additional children and youth who can benefit from having a Big Brother or Big Sister in their young lives.”
BBBS of Tampa Bay was one of only 6 agencies, from nearly 300 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies nationwide, that will be recognized as a Pinnacle Award winner at the national conference of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, being held in late June in Charlotte, N.C.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters are adult volunteers (called “Bigs”) who are matched with children facing adversity (called “Littles”) for professionally-supported one-on-one mentoring. Last year BBBS of Tampa Bay served more than 3,000 children with positive role models throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Citrus, Hernando and Citrus counties.
The impact of the relationships is significant, with 97 percent of children matched for more than a year in 2018 being promoted to the next grade level, and 98 percent avoiding any involvement with the juvenile justice system. The other Pinnacle Award agencies for 2018 are from Milwaukee, Northeast Iowa, Southern Minnesota, El Dorado County (CA) and Southwest Idaho.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Inc.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is part of the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network and holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs youth with screened volunteer mentors and monitors these matches throughout their time in the program. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity – often of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military – with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Please visit www.bbbstampabay.org for more information on how to volunteer, enroll your child, or donate.