Serving Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties.


Meet the 2017 Bigs and Littles of the Year

 Chris Butler, a Senior Vice President in the investment products department at Raymond James, has been matched with Elgin for the past five years. He has seen Elgin grow from a young man to a high school junior, where he plays on the football and basketball teams. Chris has been able to help Elgin navigate through many challenges – the death of two grandparents, personal experiences that caused him to move between family members during his freshman year at high school, friends who had become shooting victims – keeping him on a path to success. He has become like a member of Elgin’s family.

“We don’t think of Chris as being from Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Elgin’s mother, Nicole. “I love Chris. He’s like Elgin’s real brother. His relationship is above and beyond anything I ever dreamed of.”

The pair were originally matched in the school-based program, but changed programs after two years so they could see each other outside of school. Chris focused a lot of his time with Elgin teaching life lessons: getting organized, being on time, keeping up with his school work, and proper manners. “I treated every outing as a learning experience,” Chris said.

See their video journey here!

 

Before meeting Roxanne Connor, Megan suffered from anxiety and was not doing well academically. Her mother had not been consistently in her life, and her grandmother felt like Megan would benefit from having another positive role model in her life. Roxanne, who was already volunteering at the school in other capacities, embraced the opportunity to have a one-on-one relationship and make a significant impact on a child’s life.

The results have been outstanding. Megan’s self-confidence has skyrocketed, and she is now personable and outgoing. She knows everyone in the school, and they all know her. Roxanne calls her “the mayor of Eisenhower Elementary.” Megan’s grades have improved, consistently earning a place on the Principal’s List and Honor Roll. She and Roxanne meet every week at school, writing in their journal, spending time on classwork, and talking about life’s challenges. They have made such improvement in her math skills that Megan now talks of one day getting a Ph.D in Engineering. “It just makes me feel good that I can make a difference in her life,” Roxanne said.

In addition to her role as a Big, Roxanne serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Pinellas Leadership Council, which helps with fundraising and recruiting, and has personally recruited numerous adults to become Bigs.

See their video journey here!