‘Tis the Season: Holiday Party 2013

The annual Holiday Party is always one of our most-loved events and this year was no different.

Big Sister and Little Sister at Holiday Party 2013.

Big Sister and Little Sister at Holiday Party 2013.

Bigs and Littles had tons of fun, with more than 300 matches in attendance. Each pair enjoyed lunch, fun crafts and got to take the memories home with them because My Event Is The Bomb donated a photo booth so that every match could take a photo together.

There were also big smiles as each Big and Little created colorful snowman ornaments together (thanks to Padgett Stratemann) and tested out their new toys.

snowmen

Holiday crafts and photobooth fun!

Of course, each child also received a gift, courtesy of our toy drive participants and generous sponsors: Bury, Holiday Inn Townlake, Jack in the Box, RBFCU and Padgett Stratemann.  Thanks to them and everyone who makes the Holiday Party possible.

(You can also watch news coverage from our media friends at KXAN and Fox 7, and see more photos on Flickr.)

What did you think? How many holiday parties have you and your Little attended?

The Internship

Our Interns: Christine, Grisell and Adrien.

Our Interns: Christine, Grisell and Adrien.

Every semester, we’re lucky to have amazing interns who work hard, learn a ton and help us serve nearly 1,000 kids in Central Texas. We invited our most recent interns (Christine, Grisell and Adrien) to tell us what they’ve learned over the last several months. 

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Christine Kwak
I am a senior public relations major at The University of Texas at Austin. I am the Online Marketing Intern at BBBS and I assist the development team with all things online. I work heavily with social media and making web site updates. I had never been exposed to HTML before this internship, but now I feel like a pro as I make my way through code. I have also helped with event-related marketing for Ice Ball 2013 and Trudy’s Bowl for Kids 2014. I am graduating this December and the experiences that I have gained from BBBS have helped build my confidence as I pursue my career in digital advertising. The staff is always so friendly and everyone loves what they do. Office doors are always kept open, people are joking and laughing, and there is always hot coffee in the morning. It was so rewarding to be surrounded by such wonderful people and working for such a great cause. I have really enjoyed my time at BBBS and I will miss it dearly when it comes to an end.

Grisell Garza
My internship experience at BBBS began in June and so far it has been incredible. For the past six months I have been the Development Intern. My role includes researching grant and donor prospects, managing donor information through Salesforce, and assisting the VP of Development with different tasks. As an upcoming International Business graduate from St. Edward’s University, interning for BBBS has given me the professional experience I was looking for. The best part about interning for BBBS is knowing that I am part of an organization that makes a difference to young children every day. Working in an environment where everyone is committed to making a difference has made this internship an even better experience. Also, I couldn’t have asked for better mentors that were always very helpful and willing to help me clearly understand every project. Being a part of BBBS for these six months has been a great experience and I could not be more grateful for this opportunity!

Adrien Korczynski
I hold a B.A. in Communication Design and Photography from Texas State University where I graduated from last May. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I have always been drawn to use my time and skills to help others any way that I can. I started interning for BBBS in September and will continue assisting them through the spring. I help them with all of their graphic and design needs, especially their fundraiser, Trudy’s Bowl for Kids, that takes place at the end of February. They have given me a lot of creative freedom and it’s allowed me to explore ideas and concepts. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with these wonderful people and I truly believe in what this nonprofit represents and it’s rewarding to know that my work is actually helping to change people’s lives.

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Huge thanks to Christine, Grisell and Adrien from all of us. If you or someone you know is interested in joining us as an intern, please see the current opportunities on our careers page

Bigs of the Year

Every year, we recognize a Big Brother and a Big Sister for their commitment and dedication to the program – both as great mentors and also as advocates for the mission. We’re thrilled to announce the Central Texas Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year are Hector Perez and Meghan Hughes.

Hector, Meghan and the other 1,000 Bigs in Central Texas are making a profound impact on our community every day. Please help us congratulate (and thank!) them in the comments.

Meghan Hughes, Big Sister of the Year

Meghan and Kendry

Meghan and Kendry

Meghan says she became a Big to create a “long term relationship that is completely unique.” Now, almost three years later, she’s forged an amazing bond with her Little Sister, Kendry. Their first outings consisted mainly of having lunch at Kendry’s school, but they became fast friends and now embark on weekly adventures out in the community.

“I truly have learned so much and am honored to be a Big and to have a Little that believes in me and cares about me as much as I do for her,” Meghan says.

A shy child, Kendry recently tried something different and joined a summer music camp for girls. By the end of camp, 10-year-old Kendry was rocking the bass, made lots of new friends and had a wonderful experience — thanks to the encouragement she received from Meghan.

“I hope my relationship with Meghan will be around for a very long time,” Kendry says. “I’m excited to go to college and to know that Meghan will be there for me and see me graduate.  It will be fun to be friends for life.”

Somehow, we know they’ll be just that — friends for life.

Hector Perez, Big Brother of the Year

Hector and Gabriel

Hector and Gabriel

About three years ago, Hector met his Little Brother, Gabriel.  Hector describes Gabriel as a “kind and generous soul” and he strives to help Gabriel see how big the world truly can be.

“When I travel abroad for work, I try to give Gabriel some details of the country I am heading to and teach him about living in a global environment.  I try to teach him that there is so much more life out there to explore,” Hector says.

Gabriel has been absorbing these lessons along the way and learning a lot from his mentor. Not only did he have a blast visiting Hector’s office at Dell on “Family Day,” but he’s also a history buff who can recite the first 24 US presidents by heart!

Together, they are a dynamic duo and some of their favorite activities include playing chess and laser tag. Regardless of what activity they choose for their outings, Hector says one of the most important things for 10-year-old Gabriel is consistency and confidence.

“In today’s society, we have the responsibility to ensure the young men in our community have the proper guidance in life and know there are other men that can and will support them, even if life is not always fair,” he says. “I am honored to be the Big Brother of the Year and I am even more honored to be Gabriel’s Big Brother.”