AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – 2020 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Quality Award granted to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County (BBBSHC).
The local chapter for the national organization received the award for outstanding team leadership in providing 1-to-1 mentor programming for local youth. In addition to the Hampshire County chapter, 49 out of the 236 Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) agencies across the country received top honors in quality.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization was founded more than 100 years ago on the ideas of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. It grew from the need to offer an alternative path for those facing the juvenile justice system and focuses on connections between mentor (Bigs) and mentee (Littles). During the pandemic BBBSHC staff provided support and coaching using a virtual model; they also found ways to connect Bigs, Littles and their families with additional resources. Innovative approaches included monthly deliveries of groceries, and an initiative with local toy stores, providing Hampshire County Littles with new games and at-home educational activities.
“I am so proud of our board and staff for making quality programming a priority for local young people,” said Jessie Cooley, Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. “Their hard work equates to more meaningful connections for mentors and mentees in our region. We also recognize the incredible dedication of our Bigs, Littles and families over this past year, who were committed to staying connected despite the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Quality Award Winners were formally recognized at the 2021 Virtual ‘Bigger Together’ National Conference in June.