Big Brother of the Year 2010
MCHENRY, ILLINOIS, February 23, 2011 – “Bob is a long-term mentor whose volunteer service exemplifies how Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring model, which includes ongoing support for our ‘Bigs,’ ‘Littles’ and their families, improves the odds for children to succeed in and out of school,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County Executive Director, Robyn Ostrem. “This match has continued from when the mentee was truly little to now when he is about to graduate high school. Our agency match support staff have been there every step of the way, observing first-hand what this outstanding mentor has achieved.”
A state-wide panel of judges selected the ‘Illinois Big Brother of the Year’ from applications submitted by Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies throughout Illinois.
“Volunteers like Bob are an inspiration, and I hope it encourages others to participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Dana Briscoe, Director of Programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County who has managed Evans match through the ten years.
Bob Evans, Illinois Big Brother of the Year
Evans, a father of three grown children from Cary was looking for an opportunity to give back when he enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He wanted to do something for someone else and make a local impact. Bob met his Little Brother, Cole, 11 years ago in the community-based mentoring program. Cole was being raised by his mom with no male role model. Cole was earning for male companionship. Evans states “..the first time I met Cole, I was nervous but we immediately hit it off. He was such a fun loving kid. Together over the years we have enjoyed movies, museums and attending sporting events. I’ve enjoyed the privilege of watching Cole grow up.”
Cole’s mother attributes a lot of who Cole is today to Bob’s positive influence. “Bob has provided Cole positive reinforcement and stability the past 11 years. Bob is instrumental in Cole’s desire to further his education. I am so thankful that Bob has been such a big part of my son’s life.”
Cole states that Big Brother Little Brother experience has been incredibly positive for him. “…Bob has been a strong male role model and walked along side of me. He has changed the course of my life and kept me on a straight path. I hope I’m like Bob when I get older. He is the greatest guy I know.”
Since 1994, Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. As McHenry County’s only donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”).
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a system of ongoing evaluation and support that is proven by independent studies to help families by improving the odds that “Littles” will perform better in school and avoid violence and illegal activities, and have stronger relationships with their parents and others. In 2010, 558 children in McHenry County reaped the benefits of having a Big Brother or Big Sister.