2022 Highlights: The Year in Review

As 2022 winds down, we want to take a moment to reflect on some of this year’s highlights and milestones, and to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together.

In January, we began the new year by announcing our Central Texas Matches of the Year; Big Sister Karen Vilches and her Little Sister Syriana, and Big Sister Emily Zipp and her Little Brother David. Both matches have blossomed since their first encounters, growing together for the better, and we were thrilled to be able to recognize them.

So far, this year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas has made more than 170 new matches and supported more than 758 Littles and their Bigs. Notably, we’ve also seen the average length of our matches grow to more than 3 years! And we know that the longer a match continues, the stronger and better their bond becomes.

After transitioning to online enrollments and virtual match meetups during the pandemic, BBBS returned to in-person events, services, and activities in 2022.

Our first in-person event of the year was our annual Bowl for Kids fundraiser held in April. Generating ‘waves of excitement’ with its fun beach theme, Bowl for Kids 2022 raised over $100,000 to fund mentoring relationships for children in Central Texas!

With new activities such as a pickleball tournament and a trivia night, Bowl for Kids really did put the “fun” in fundraising. We expect next year’s 40th anniversary event to be just as exciting!

Speaking of anniversaries, in 2022 BBBS had the honor of celebrating four employees who have served our community for more than 10 years – a special achievement for an organization with only 32 staff members.

Sergio Guzman, Adriana Adams, Christina Snell, and Christina Eisenlord are valued staff members who make our entire agency and community better, and we appreciate their tenure and years of service.

Christina Eisenlord, our Big Futures Program Coordinator, also welcomed several new Big Futures program partners. Park University, a liberal arts institution, and Strive & Inspire Development Centers, a mentoring program, joined us to create bigger, brighter futures for our older mentees and staff!

Our Big Futures program continues to grow with more than 122 matches now choosing to continue their professionally supported relationships after high school.

In June we held our annual Promising Futures Scholarship Ceremony to recognize the educational achievements and aspirations of our mentored Littles.

This year, more than $146,000 in scholarship funds were made available to 45 graduating seniors. In addition, $263,250 in scholarship funds were committed to 81 newly eligible Littles. These funds will become available once they graduate high school.

That’s almost $400,000 in scholarship funds provided and promised this year!

In August, more than 100 matches, staff, and family members enjoyed some fun in the sun at Lake Travis during our annual Hobie Day event. After not being able to host the gathering for the past two years, it was wonderful to see Bigs, Littles, and their families come together to play in the lake and sail on the wind.

Finally, our biggest gathering of all, our annual Ice Ball gala, brought a crowd of over 750 people together to celebrate and support kids in our community.

The highlight of the evening was this year’s Mission Moment featuring Little Brother AJ and his Big Brother Justin. Just 2 years ago, AJ was reluctant to interact with others, shy, and quiet. Since being matched, “he’s become a different child,” said AJ’s mother, Jana. “He has a lot of friends, his teachers adore him, and he’s doing well in school.”

A great example of the power of mentoring! And by the end of the night, over $930,000 was raised to provide more children with the mentors they need and deserve.

It was indeed a whirlwind year! Our CEO, Dr. Leah Newkirk Meunier, has just celebrated her first full year at the agency. Settling into her new role, Leah launched a strategic planning process to prepare for future growth, and we are excited about what’s ahead for the agency.

Of course, all of these accomplishments and milestones would not be possible without the support and involvement of our community. Our dedicated staff continues to serve Central Texas children and their families, and to serve them well, with the help and support of generous volunteers, donors, partners, and friends. Thank you all.

Your investment in this work is important and it makes a difference.

We look forward to what lies ahead as we continue to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

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