FARGO – Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village Family Service Center is proud to be recognized as a 2020 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) Quality Award Winner.
Every year, the BBBSA Nationwide Leadership Council, made up of local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency leaders and board members, select agencies for excellence in the one-to-one mentoring program, which ignites the power and promise of youth. Despite the challenges of the past year, including the pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty, 49 out of the 236 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country, including Fargo-Moorhead’s program, received top honors in quality.
“I am so proud of our board and staff for making quality programming a priority for our local children,” said Susan Smith, Program Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village Family Service Center. “This quality work ensures safe mentoring relationships for youth in our community, empowering them to reach their full potential.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters was founded more than 100 years ago as an organization focused on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. It grew out of a need to offer an alternative path for youth facing the juvenile justice system. The program is based on in-person connections, but social distancing due to the pandemic prompted agencies to find innovative ways for volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) to stay connected with their mentees (called “Littles“).
BBBS of The Village served 113 youth with Bigs last year. Staff provided support and coaching using a virtual model; they also found ways to connect Bigs, Littles and their families with additional resources.
“Over the past several months, I’ve heard from agency leaders in rural towns and metropolitan communities, those in the suburbs and every place in between,” said Artis Stevens, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “And there’s one theme I’ve noticed everywhere, and that’s the power of resilience. We congratulate these agencies for earning these top honors. The level of commitment and dedication is outstanding, to see staff doing all they can to make sure our youth will not only survive these challenging times but thrive.”
The Quality Award Winners are being formally recognized at Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2021 Virtual “Bigger Together” National Conference June 28-July 1.