January 19, 2018
ATLANTA – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) celebrates two volunteers who have made a significant difference in the lives of their Littles. The 2018 Bigs of the Year were chosen from nearly 1,800 volunteers across 12 metro counties in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to their Little Brothers and Sisters (“Littles”). Littles and their families nominate their Big Brothers or Sisters for the honor and BBBSMA staff select a male and female winner. The Bigs of the Year were announced at our annual Big Appreciation Event on January 18 and will have an opportunity to be named as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s National Big Brother or Sister of the Year.
Big Sister of the Year: Deborah Ortiz
Deborah Ortiz has been matched with her Little Sister Kania since December 2010. Deborah works for Georgia State University and has included Kania in the work she does, encouraging her to think about her future plans. She is an excellent role model. Deborah is dedicated to assisting Kania to be successful in school, helping her through summer school, and frequently seeing her during the week to help.
Kania shared that she used to be shy and now she speaks up for herself, adding that Deborah has also helped her in learning how to communicate with her dad. Deborah is very supportive of Kania and they can talk about anything. Kania’s mom says, “Deborah is basically the best role model that I could have come in contact with for Kania.”
Deborah Ortiz embodies what it means to be a Big Sister, which is why BBBSMA is proud to recognize her as the 2018 Big Sister of the Year.
Big Brother of the Year: Derron Morris
Derron Morris has been matched with his Little Brother Steven since May 2012. He and Steven have volunteered together, giving food to others in need. Derron has done a lot to assist his Little Brother in school and Steven now makes As.
Since Steven’s sister was diagnosed with cancer, Darren has been a support system not only for Steven but also for his mom and sister during this difficult time. Steven’s sister even asked to contribute to his Big Brother of the Year nomination and says, “he’s a great person and I love him.” Steven adds, “Derron is really there for me and is actually part of our family. He comes to my birthday parties and to family dinners. I feel like he really gets me and is interested in my life… I just think that if I did have a big brother that had the same blood as me, I would want it to be him.”
Because of his extraordinary commitment, BBBSMA is thrilled to name Derron Morris the 2018 Big Brother of the Year.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
For 58 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) has transformed the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in our community through a proven youth development strategy: one-to-one mentoring. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. The agency serves approximately 1,750 children from 12 metro Atlanta counties on an annual basis.