January 28, 2014 (Newswire.com) - Big Brothers Big Sisters is pleased to announce that Kathleen Kearney and Matthew Masek have been named Big Sister of the Year and Big Brother of the Year, respectively. The "Big of the Year" award recognizes outstanding volunteers who provide exceptional and life-changing impact to the children they mentor in their geographic region.
"The relationship Kathleen and Matt have with their 'Littles' is the epitome of what we hope to achieve for all of our matches," says Robert Roby, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. "Their commitment to our program is truly inspiring. We are honored to have them on our team."
When Dallas County's Big Sister of the Year Kathleen Kearney was first matched with her Little Sister Jessica, she was facing expulsion from school and an uncertain future. Six-and-a-half years later, Jessica is about to graduate high school, working part-time, actively volunteering and taking the right steps toward college. Both Jessica and her mother credit Kathleen with her success. Kathleen has earned a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Nursing, as well as a law degree from Suffolk University. She is currently the health law partner at Lenahan Law Firm in Dallas, as well as a member of the faculty at Texas Tech University's School of Nursing where she teaches Leal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare. In 2012, she was named a Texas Super Lawyers' Rising Star and made The National Trial Lawyers' Top 40 Under 40 list. But she is most proud of being a Big Sister since 2006.
Matt Masek was selected at Dallas County's Big Brother of the Year because of his commitment to his Little Brother and the program regardless of the circumstances. In the four-and-a-half years that Matt and Jordan have been matched, he has been deployed twice to the Middle East as a member of the United States Air Force, as well as completed his bachelor's degree, gotten married and started law school. During each tour of duty, Matt and Jordan both had the option to put their relationship 'on hold.' Both of them turned down that option, preferring to keep in contact via email and phone calls. Jordan has significantly influenced by what Matt has achieved in their time together, going from average grades in middle school to being on his high school honor roll.
Each year, regional winners from across the 60-county service areas are automatically nominated for Lone Star awards. The Lone Star service area includes all of North Texas, West Central Texas and the greater Houston area. Winners of that selection process move on to statewide Big Brothers Big Sisters award recognition held in the Spring. Texas winners will be eligible for national awards selected by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring organization, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children ("Littles") with screened volunteer mentors ("Bigs") and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization's 85-year history. Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star serves over 30,000 children, volunteers and families through 20 offices and over 100 counties in Texas. Learn how you can positively impact a child's life - donate or volunteer at bbbstx.org.