Worcester, MA – On January 17, 2023, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest hosted its Annual Meeting in their new office building at 18 Chestnut Street in downtown Worcester. The Agency celebrates their 60th anniversary on April 1, 2023.
Jack Hoehlein of Morgan Stanley served three years as Chair of the Board. The Board of Directors voted in Lynette Paczkowski, Attorney at Bowditch & Dewey, who will remain as Board Chair for the next three years.
“I feel very fortunate to be stepping into the role of Board Chair at this time. Not only do I get to build off of the momentum and energy of 2022, but 2023 marks such a huge milestone for the agency – 60 years of matches and mentors! I look forward to working with the Board, with Connie, our CEO, and with the staff to reach even more youth across our 87 cities and towns.”
The agency also welcomed the following professionals to the Board of Directors:
Kit Hughes – Kit Hughes is the Athletic Director at the College of the Holy Cross. The college is a program partner for BBBS’ Worcester Area College Mentoring Program.
Ben Hinks – Ben Hinks is an attorney at Bowditch and Dewey’s Employment & Labor practice. Mr. Hinks represents employers in litigation matters, counselling clients through a full range of employment issues including hiring, termination, personnel policies and handbooks, leaves of absence, internal investigations, employee discipline and DEI initiatives.
In addition to the election of new Directors, BBBS CEO, Connie Askin, announced the agency’s 60 Men to Mentors initiative, calling on men in the city of Worcester to volunteer as Bigs. The agency has 60 boys on a waitlist and have set a goal to match those 60 boys with a mentor by their 60th Anniversary Big Celebration Gala on April 1, 2023.
“To put it plainly, we need Bigs. We especially need male Bigs, and we especially need male Bigs of color. The commitment is just 1 hour a week. You can change a child’s life for the better with 1% of your time,” said CEO, Connie Askin.
Speakers at this event included Juan Matos, longtime Worcester community activist, and former Poet Laureate.
At the meeting, several friends of the agency received awards as shown below:
Colleen O’Brien Memorial Award
This award was presented to Karen Donovan Bean of Shrewsbury. Karen has been a longtime volunteer for the agency. She currently serves as a Board Member, as Co-Chair of the Big Celebration Committee, and sits on other committees.
Dr. H. Martin Deranian Fellowship Award
This award was presented to Michael Burke, an executive at Hanover Insurance. Michael has been a Big to his Little for 7 years. In addition to volunteering as a Big, he sits on the Board of Directors, fundraises for the agency in the Rodman Ride for Kids, and is heavily involved in the planning of the Big Celebration event.
Linda Urbec Award
This award was presented to Holliston resident Jessica Caccamo and her Framingham Little, Briella. This is a match that continues to develop a strong relationship while overcoming obstacles.
Xavior Aguilar Memorial Award
Worcester Arts Magnet Student, Yariel, is a mentee in our program and received this recognition for his ability to ignite inspiration in others while showcasing all the power a Little can have.
The next event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass & MetroWest is the 60th Anniversary Big Celebration, being held on April 1st, 2023 at the AC Hotel in Worcester. For more information about The Big Celebration or the organization, please visit www.bbbscm.org.