Delivering Congratulations: Recognizing Our 2020 Graduates

On Tuesday, June 16th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas’ staff delivered donuts, cookies, and plenty of celebratory swag to 40 high school graduates who are receiving college scholarships through BBBS’ Promising Futures Scholarship Program. Due to COVID-19 concerns, BBBS cancelled its usual, annual in-person scholarship ceremony, however the agency was determined to celebrate these students’ achievements. Along with the treats, graduates received “congratulations” yard signs to recognize their educational success.

“I am just so proud because they’ve worked so hard” was heard from parents as graduates posed by their BBBS yard signs and looked through their gift bags of goodies. Graduating from high school and taking positive steps toward a successful future is a big deal for these students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

Our Big Brothers and Big Sisters were proud of their graduating Littles as well. “This scholarship towards his college education could not be a better investment for the program,” Big Brother Jameson said about his Little Brother Omar. “It’s an investment in someone who repeatedly rises to the challenges he faces, and someone who values and embodies the type of growth Big Brothers Big Sisters is empowering.”

“I want to start off by saying how proud of I am of Karla,” said Big Sister Poleth. “She is future focused and her commitment to her goals is impressive. I am excited for what the future holds for her. She is a great student with a good head on her shoulders.”

This week’s gift basket deliveries marked the culmination of a number of virtual Scholarship Program celebration activities. BBBS created a virtual scholarship ceremony web page featuring a student recognition video and keynote address by former BBBS board member, Lance Gunn, photos of each graduate and information about their future plans, and a list of the agency’s incoming scholarship ‘Promisees.’ In addition, the agency launched a number of social media shout-outs and provided social media graphics for graduates to use on their own social media platforms.

“Celebrating our graduates and supporting their academic journeys with our scholarship funds is one of the proudest moments of my role as CEO of the agency,” said Brent Fields, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas.  “We’re so very proud of what these young people have achieved, and it was a special treat to see some of them, from a safe distance and with masks, while delivering their gifts and yard signs this week. I also want to applaud the parents and BBBS mentors who have supported these students along the way. While these are certainly some challenging times we’re all navigating, it’s inspiring to observe students who have persevered and who are taking steps to achieve their biggest possible futures!”

BBBS’ Littles rank well above the national average in terms of their intention to attend college, with 76% of Littles planning to pursue post-secondary education as compared with 45% of their peers nationally. BBBS of Central Texas’ Scholarship Program provides eligible Littles with $2,000 in scholarship funds, and the potential to earn an additional $500 per year, up to a maximum of $4,000. Scholarship funds can be used at any two or four-year college, university or accredited trade or technical school. In addition, 9 academic institutions generously match the scholarship funds that BBBS provides, doubling the value and impact of these gifts.

Created in 1986 with a generous donation from a local Austin family, BBBS’ Scholarship Program has promised over $5 million in scholarships to over 2,500 Littles since its inception. In 2020, the program is promising more than $600,000 in scholarship funds to approximately 200 Little Brothers and Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas was the first BBBS agency in the nation to offer a scholarship program and is pleased to have operated the program for over 34 years. The promise of a scholarship is a powerful incentive for students to graduate high school and to pursue higher education. The scholarship gets young people thinking about their futures and offers very practical, direct financial assistance to Littles and their families.

A special thank you to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Edible Arrangements for contributing a dozen doughnuts and a dozen cookies for each of our graduates’ gift baskets. Thank you to the BBBS Foundation Board which oversees the Scholarship Program as well.

See photos from our graduate gift delivery drive HERE

See our virtual scholarship ceremony web page and video HERE

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