L-R: (Back) Lori Dombrowski, Beth Kohnert, Kaitlyn Barten, Michelle Jess, Melanie Cullen, Dawn Cherek; and (Front) Myra Swiston and Jackie Paulson. Not pictures is Sandy Gordon. (Contributed) 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Wisconsin recognized

By Patrick Lynn

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Wisconsin has been recognized as a Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) Platinum Award winner for program excellence in 2023.

The BBBSA Nationwide Leadership Council is composed of local agency leaders and board members. The annual award honors, outstanding performance in the organization’s signature 1-to-1 youth mentoring program.

Out of more than 230 agencies nationwide, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Wisconsin is one of 51 organizations to receive this top honor. The award recognizes agencies that have shown remarkable achievements in retaining mentors (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”) matched through the program, demonstrating exceptional growth in their local services.

In the past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Wisconsin expanded its services by over 10 percent in both Wood and Portage counties.

“Awards like this are never a singular accomplishment. This is not just a Big Brothers Big Sisters achievement. It signals growth for our entire community,” said Dawn Cherek, executive director. “We strive every day to support local youth through mentorship. It is truly a testament to the hard work carried out by our amazing team every day.”

For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been dedicated to advancing equity, impact, and growth across the organization, making a lasting impact on the lives of young people. The organization creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships, helping build self-confidence and emotional well-being, and empowering young people to graduate with a plan for their futures and a mentor whose impact can last a lifetime.

The organization is always enrolling more Big Brothers and Big Sisters to be matched with a Little. The waitlist is constantly growing, and Bigs of all ages are needed in all service areas.

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Wisconsin, visit bigimpact.org or call (715) 341-0661.