A Year in Review with Our BBBSEM  Community


A Year in Review with Our BBBSEM Community

by Kara Hopkins
Posted December 19, 2023

A Year in Review with BBBSEM Community

This past year held numerous milestones for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts (BBBSEM). From a successful Big Night to the launch of the Big Futures Mentoring Program, there is no doubt that 2023 was one to remember for our organization and the youth and families we serve. Below are highlights from the past year as we look forward to making an even greater impact in 2024.

National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month. In 2023, BBBSEM celebrated mentorship throughout the month and called for more diverse language-speaking adults to volunteer as mentors for children across the region. The agency was featured on Boston Neighborhood Network News, WBUR’s Radio Boston, WCVB’s 5 For Good, WGBH’s Under the Radar with Callie Crossley and other media outlets.

Big Night

On Feb. 4, BBBSEM celebrated youth mentoring at the agency’s 24th annual Big Night at the House of Blues in Boston. Guests danced the night away to music by Michael Franti, supergroup Ezra Ray Hart, and Boston’s own French Lick. Held in-person for the first time in two years, the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser also featured Daphne Lopes, proud guardian of Little Aren and community activist, as she was honored with the James J. Pallotta Award. The event raised more than $1.5 million to support the organization’s year-round community, site-based and campus-based programs.

Read more about the event in MassNonprofit News.

City Hall Program

On June 6, BBBSEM hosted a celebration in honor of this school year’s mentoring matches in the nonprofit’s Boston City Hall Workplace Mentoring Program. Boston Mayor Wu joined participants as they toured City Hall, participated in group experiential learning activities, and met one-on-one to build caring relationships. The BBBSEM Boston City Hall Workplace Mentoring Program, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Health and Human Services, is a work-based mentoring program in which City of Boston employees provide students from the Donald Mckay K-8 School one-to-one mentoring relationships within City Hall walls after school during the workday. BBBSEM was the 20th nonprofit to join the Mayor’s mentoring movement.

Big Futures Mentoring Program

On Oct. 25, BBBSEM hosted a Big Futures Program Draft Ceremony at Revere High School. During the celebration, over 30 Revere High School freshmen were introduced to their mentors, professionals in the Greater Boston community, for the first time with the launch of the organization’s new Big Futures Mentoring program. Mentors will see their mentees through their high school experiences into their chosen pathway – whether it be college, trade school, entrepreneurship, or the military. The program offers high schools the power of mentorship, packaged for teens and created to complement class time, not compete with it, to help youth reach their fullest potential.

See more about the launch event on WBZNewsRadio.com and in the Revere Journal.

Staff Recognition

In celebration of a decade with BBBSEM’s President and CEO Mark O’Donnell, he was selected as one of the Authority Magazine’s Social Impact Heroes, a series about individuals and organizations making an important social impact. Read his feature here to learn about his professional journey and advice to aspiring leaders.

In addition, Constance Carmona, Associate Director of Pathway Programs at BBBSEM, was named for Color Magazine’s 2023 40 Under 40 Powerlist and recognized for her outstanding achievements as a young professional of color setting the benchmarks in her field. She joined the team during a time when the agency’s high school mentoring program, previously named Mentor 2.0, nearly diminished during the COVID-19 pandemic. Carmona has since led BBBSEM’s work with corporate and community partners to revitalize and rebrand the Mentor 2.0 program into Big Futures Mentoring.

This year, BBBSEM, the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate in New England, has created and served nearly 25,000 matches. As we gear up to enter our 75th year of service, consider making a donation today.

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