On Thursday, June 2nd Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona hosted our first ever event in our new office space, a graduation event for our Littles! We had 15 high school graduates in attendance from the Class of 2022, plus their Bigs and their families. The celebration began with mingling, a slideshow of our graduating matches’ photos from over the years and appetizers from Arriba’s. Guest speaker, Laura Libman with Washington Street Foundation and the Tia Foundation, kicked off the program by sharing the importance of mentorship, and expressed to the Littles in attendance that it was their turn to make a difference in their community, whether through becoming a Big with BBBSAZ, or through volunteering somewhere else that they are passionate about.
BBBSAZ’s Director of Community Based Mentoring, Andrea Petrof, had the privilege of introducing all of our graduating Littles and their Bigs. Each pair received a gift to congratulate them on their achievement. Bigs and Littles then took the stage and had the chance to share stories about their time spent together in our program. Some of the matches in attendance had been together for up to twelve years! Many matches shared that one of their favorite outings together was attending a special BBBSAZ Larry Fitzgerald’s Holiday dinner, where they got to meet Larry Fitzgerald himself. They were able to take photos with him and have items signed by him. There were heartwarming moments where Bigs shared that they were so proud to see their Littles grow up over the years, but Littles also shared they felt the same way about their Bigs. One Little Brother shared how he was proud of seeing his Big Brother graduate from ASU and work at Mayo Clinic while they were matched. One Big Sister shared how she was a Little Sister 40+ years ago in the program and encouraged all graduating Littles to consider becoming Bigs themselves. Some of the Littles that were in attendance planned on heading to college, some into the workforce and others are joining the military. One Little Brother shared how proud he was of his Big Sister’s accomplishments, especially seeing her travel for work. The Little Brother then shared he would be joining the Navy and would soon be able to travel the world as well.
We were also able to share that one of our Littles, Sasha Santamaria, received our BBBSAZ Big Futures Scholarship of $1,500 for 4 years!
Congratulations to all of our Littles who graduated in 2022! We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see all of the amazing things you will accomplish!