Meet the 2018 Big of the Year award recipients, who were selected for making a significant impact on the life of a child through one-to-one mentorship and demonstrating excellence as advocates of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The top honors are bestowed annually in January on Thank Your Mentor Day, part of National Mentoring Month. This year, the local campaign is powered by Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), a proud sponsor that believes in the ability of youth mentoring to make a life-changing impact for children in the community.
Big Brother: Andrew
Little Brother: Luis
Match date: 11/12/2014
Andrew and Luis have made a lot of memories.
Andrew’s childhood experiences led him to Big Brothers Big Sisters—he knows firsthand what an incredible impact having a mentor can make for a child, having been in those shoes himself. Raised by a single mother, Andrew’s baseball and football coaches were his only male role models. Their influence fueled his desire to pay it forward and become a mentor.
Andrew began volunteering in 2014 as a mentor to Luis. Luis, now age 10, came to Big Brothers Big Sisters through the GRIP (Gang Reduction & Intervention Partnership) program in Anaheim after telling police officers he was getting into physical fights at school because he didn’t have a father to defend him.
Andrew is actively involved in helping Luis at school, including going on field trips and helping him complete his homework on-time.
“He teaches me about being respectful and not to get in fights and to always remember to raise my hand,” said Luis. “He cares about me and makes me feel happy.”
“From high school graduation and the first day of college to when he starts a family of his own, I will always be there for Luis,” Andrew said. “This is just the start of a lifelong friendship.”