Nominate your Big Brother or Big Sister to receive the Delaware “Big of the Year” Award!
Calling all Little Brothers & Sisters: Tell us in 200 words or less “How your Big Brother or Big Sister has made a difference in your life”. (Parents are welcome to assist younger children in writing nominations.)
DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS IS JANUARY 27, 2017.
Submit Your Nomination Online!
“Tonight I had the distinct honor of attending the graduation of Javier at University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center. I first met Javier in February 2006 when he was a 3rd grader and was selected to be my “little brother” [I can no longer call him that as you can see from the pic] through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware. I am so happy to see him graduate today from Howard High School — and continue his education at Delaware State University in the fall — although I must say the moment is bittersweet as his graduation officially marks the end of my 9-year highly rewarding experience as a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. I will miss meeting with Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highly talented and hardworking staff, particularly Tiyona McCollister, who consistently came up with fun and creative activities for us to participate in. I would be remiss not to use this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Dan Gigler who was the first person to encourage me to join this outstanding nonprofit. Above all, congratulations Javier!”
I had long considered volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters. But it was not until I attended a breakfast for the organization with a friend that my mind was made up.
A mother of a Little Brother stood up and told her personal story. It touched me and at that moment I knew I wanted to become a mentor – but I had made up in my mind that I was only going to volunteer for one year.
I went through the application process and within no time I became a Big Brother. I was excited to be matched with 8-year-old Nasir.
I remember the first time we met as if it was yesterday. I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows-up and he said, “I’m going to be a baller like Lebron James.” I offered to help him with his game and he said, “Help me with my game? I can help you with your game.” I then asked him, what type of grades was he getting in school and this time he wasn’t so quick to answer. He dropped his head and said, “C’s and D’s.” I made him a deal. I told him I would give him ten dollars for every A that he earned and five dollars for every B, but he would get nothing for anything less. He was rubbing his hands together and smiling as if he had hit the lottery, but I was smiling too, because I knew that I had him.
Today, Nasir is the starting point guard on his basketball team, but even more importantly than that, he’s been on the honor roll for the last four years in a row. The last time, I asked Nasir what do you want to be when you grow-up, he said, “I want to be an Engineer. Oh and Tony, I want to be a Big Brother, just like you!” This is my eighth year as Nasir’s Big Brother!
~ Tony Whitten
At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware we are proud to salute two of our mentors who are not only heroes in our country but are heroes to their “Little” Brother and “Little” Sister in our program. Continue reading