Big Futures Gala 2023

Sharmaine Sun News May 3, 2023

On Friday, April 28, 2023, over 300 guests joined forces to support our program and celebrate the power and promise of youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America CEO Artis Stevens delivered an energizing and inspirational message on why he joined the agency to lead this critical work and the incredible impact your support has on the community. Board member and former Little Jay Kim also shared her experience with our program and its positive influence on her life. We commemorated this year’s Honored Matches with awards and toasted a 50-year Match as well. Together, we raised $671,000 to continue to create and support mentoring relationships that help youth achieve their full potential.

Our Honored Matches of the Year

Zacary was enrolled in the program at six years old, when his great aunt wanted him to have another consistent adult role model to introduce him to new experiences. James hadn’t had much experience with kids before, but distinctly remembered the challenges of being a young person and of feeling different growing up, and wanted to support a Little by using those formative experiences.

In the last 9 years of their Match, James and Zacary have formed a close bond where James supports Zacary in exploring his interests in topics like engineering, sports, and more. Through several moves, Zacary has remained on the Honor Roll while working and playing the saxophone. Although Zacary was a shy, quiet kid who tended to avoid socializing, James has seen him grow into a confident, secure young man who helps and supports his family. These two have also enjoyed numerous match events such as ice skating, sailing, and BBBSBA’s Annual Holiday Party.

James says that both he and Zacary are committed to their relationship beyond Zacary turning 18, and that they will be in one another’s lives forever.
Kanch and Sofia were Matched three years ago, when Kanch wanted to provide a Little with the support that she did not have when she was younger. Because Sofia splits time between her mom’s and dad’s houses, she greatly benefited from another adult to have 1:1 time with and to connect with personally.

The bond between Kanch and Sofia was instant. As time has passed, Sofia’s family considers Kanch part of their own, and Kanch shows up and cheers on Sofia for her many personal achievements. This past year, Kanch was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy, and Sofia and her family rallied around Kanch to support and care for her. The relationship between this Little and Big pair truly goes both ways.

At their one-year Match anniversary, Kanch wrote, “I realize I’m supposed to provide Sofi with ‘continued support and guidance throughout our relationship’ but I am definitely receiving those things (and more!) from her.”

Gala Gallery

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