2016 Fall Newsletter!

2016 FALL NEWSLETTER!

Falling into the Groove

"We at Big Brothers Big Sisters always anticipate the Fall Season as it's peppered with activities including our Back to School Breakfast for teachers and counselors; Annual Picnic for matches and our newly launched 3 part Volunteer Training. Our case managers have been hard at work making a bevvy of both school and community based matches, including our latest Bigs in Blue partnership with the Lafayette Police Department. Enjoy this snapshot of what we've been doing and what's on tap."

Kim Nesutrom
Executive Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana

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BIGS in BLUE

Big Brothers Big Sisters partnering with Lafayette Police Department for new mentoring program

Lafayette, LA  - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana is proud to announce its newest mentoring initiative, Bigs in Blue. The Lafayette Police Department is stepping up in a BIG way by providing their Officers the opportunity to mentor youth at local elementary schools. This program is a joint effort involving the Lafayette Police Department (LPD), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana (BBBS) and the Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS). We know that this new program, focused to the city’s littlest citizens, will have a BIG impact on the entire community.

The program will kick-off this summer with several Officers, including Interim Police Chief Thomas, who will spend one hour a week serving as a Big Brother or Big Sister to a child facing adversity attending one of the LPSS. Those police Bigs will meet their Littles at their respective schools on a weekly basis for the duration of the 2016-2017 school year.

“ I hope my participation will inspire others to get involved in this great program” said Chief Thomas. He also hopes his Officers may set an example in our Community as well as help to spread awareness of the almost 80 children waiting to be matched in the BBBS program. LPSS Superintendent Dr. Aguillard also believes, the LPD’s involvement in the Big in Blue initiative represents the type of strong community commitment needed in Lafayette to provide valuable mentorship experiences for our students.  Dr. Aguillard told BBBS, “I commend The LPD and BBBS for their resolve to match a caring adult with students from elementary schools.”

The staff at BBBS will manage the Bigs in Blue. Officers who indicate interest in being a mentor will apply, be interviewed and then matched with a Little, just like any other volunteer who comes through the BBBS program. Once a match is made, BBBS will continue to offer support, providing a professional staff member who will help the Big and Little grow together in friendship.

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana, we are very excited about this partnership and the support of the Lafayette Police Department. It is a powerful impact to have a caring adult mentoring a young person, so we commend our Police Chief for his support in leading this initiative.

Garden City Group LLC. Donation

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana was recently presented with a donation of $4700 on behalf of the employees and management of Garden City Group, LLC. Located in Hammond, LA, Garden City held a variety of fundraising events over the past year in support of the one-to-one mentoring relationships facilitated through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

 

The agency was the selected recipient of Garden City COO, Steve Cerami and internal fundraising efforts driven by Jennifer Pristera, Senior VP of Human Resources. Garden City President and CEO, Kenneth Cutshaw supported employee donations by making a corporate match.

 

“The passionate motivation of GCG Hammond staff and employees resulted in a substantial donation which will enable our agency to continue our efforts to provide strong, enduring mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”, said Kim Neustrom, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana.

 

Director of Human Resources and Facilities, Kwesi Gilbert, presented the funds to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana on March 24th.

Big Sister of the Year- Kimberly Saucier

Big Sister Kimberly Saucier is a UL college student who has been matched with Little Sister Dominick for a year and a half now. Kimberly and Dominick spend time together at least once a week. Their favorite thing to do as a pair is going to the movies. Kimberly has also taught
Dominick how to be involved in the community, and they have participated in events such as the walk-a-thon for diabetes. Kimberly and Dominick always have a great time together and Kimberly has really gone above and beyond to really treat Dominick as a little sister. This special attention she gives is why Kimberly has been chosen as our agency Big Sister of the Year! 

Keep up the good work, Kimberly! We appreciate you!

Big Brother of the Year- Mike Fussell

Big Brother Mike Fussell is a successful attorney who decided he wanted to devote some of his time to mentoring a little brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana Community Based program. Last year, he was matched with Blaise, who is now thirteen years old. Mike and Blaise hit it off immediately. The two of them spend lots of time together playing sports and going to UL games, arcades, and out to eat. Most of the time, they like to just hang out and talk. Within this past year, Mike has really been dedicated to mentoring Blaise and being a great Big Brother. He has truly been an inspiration and has given 110%! This is the reason why he was chosen to be our Big Brother of the Year. 

Along with Blaise and his mom, our agency is grateful to Mike for being a wonderful example of a great volunteer! Thanks for all your hard work!