February 2021 EDITION
We are excited to announce our BBBSCC 2020 Big Brother & Big Sister of the Year, Cris Areskog & Courtney Gaston! Thank you both for going above and beyond to support your Littles. We appreciate your dedication to mentorship and our mission. Way to go! Check out the full announcement below.
Community-Based Big of the Month
Congratulations to our February Community-Based Big of the Month, Janice Todd!

"It was love at first sight! Maite was a shy 1st grader where I quickly learned of her genuine kindness that remains a constant in her personality. Her sweetness at times would take my breath away in its magic. Today Maite is a delightful 5th grader where we enjoy reading, swimming, bowling, cooking, movies, games, and, of course, the DQ! 
 
Through the BBBS Program, I would join Maite at school for lunch and meet her friends and teachers. Then Maite's mom and I would discuss her studies, teachers, concerns, and any challenges she faced. As a Big Sister, I try supporting Maite in any way needed where reading and math remain a focus. We do have fun practicing in different ways! 
 
In getting to know Maite and her family over these past five years, I have observed a beautiful culture that celebrates strong family values daily. It has been a joy being matched with Maite and being invited in by her very loving family. As a Big Sister, what a gift!"

Thank you for being a wonderful mentor, Janice!
Everyone, meet Heather Simonson. Heather is a Senior Program Coordinator for our Beyond School Walls program here at BBBSCC. She has been with the agency for nine years. Heather assists in creating better opportunities for children by matching them with Bigs in a corporate setting. She describes her role as a connector and one who helps create magic! Heather is also most proud of the relationships she has created with her matches over the years. 

Heather grew up on Long Island, New York, and loved to play with Barbie dolls and dance as a child. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and earned a degree in psychology. Heather was fortunate to have many strong, independent women in her life helping to shape the person she is today. Professionally, she has always worked in the nonprofit world. She began her career in New York at an organization that helped individuals with AIDS/HIV and then later for an organization assisting those with disabilities before moving back to Charlotte.
Heather believes the power of mentoring can help a child grow and reach their full potential.

Heather’s favorite motto is “Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace”. We are thrilled she is planted with us at BBBSCC and truly amazed at her never-ending blossoming.
Everyone, meet Sara Trexler. Sara is the Director of Marketing & Development. She is responsible for a full array of revenue-generating activities, including signature fundraising events, corporate, foundation and individual giving at BBBSCC. 
Sara previously worked for Goodwill Industries. She wore many hats while working at Goodwill; she was as a Contrat & Alternative Funding Manager, JobLink Manager, and Youth Services Manager. Sara finds it easy to talk to people about why they should support BBBSCC because of the impact our programs have on children’s lives and the community we serve. The most memorable moment Sara has had at BBBSCC was the 2019 High School graduation. Seeing the culmination of the impact of mentoring on the Littles and their families celebrating this major accomplishment in life was incredible. 

Sara is Big Sister to Little Sister Kayla and has helped Kayla become more social, learn new things, become more confident, find her voice and have new experiences. Sara taught Kayla how to ride a bike, which was Sara’s favorite childhood activity. Sara's grandmother showed her the importance of helping others and giving back to the community. Her grandmother often had extra children in her home or was helping a needy family. Her favorite childhood movie was Back to the Future which, she probably watched 300 times. Sara’s favorite quote is, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Suess.
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Our High School Bigs are working hard this New Year to ensure their Littles have a positive school experience. During the most recent session of mentoring, Littles and Bigs worked on setting goals. They created Big/Little “contracts” that outlined goals they plan to tackle as a match. With the support of their mentor, we are confident these Littles will experience growth and success!
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Mission

Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Vision

All youth achieve their full potential.
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