Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC receives Growth Award

Published 1:04 pm Friday, June 14, 2024

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Agency recognized for outstanding team leadership


For the first time in its 42-year history, the national office of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina has named it a Growth Award winner. Polk County is one of the western North Carolina counties served by BBBSWNC.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s 2023 Growth Award recognizes the hard work of local leadership and staff to provide high-quality programming for the children they serve, BBBSA stated in its announcement.

Every year, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies are recognized by a Nationwide Leadership Council, composed of local agency leaders and board members, for excellence in the organization’s signature 1-to-1 youth mentoring program. BBBSWNC, which serves North Carolina’s 18 mountain counties, is one of 100 organizations among 230 BBBS agencies nationwide to receive this top honor. 

The Growth Award recognizes agencies that have demonstrated growth in the number of youth – “Littles,” in BBBS parlance – and adult mentors – “Bigs” – who are matched through the program, year over year.  

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work, passion, and unwavering dedication of our staff, volunteers, and supporters who tirelessly strive to make a positive impact in the lives of over 625 youth across our region,” BBBSWNC President and CEO Lelia Duncan said. “At BBBSWNC, we believe in the power of mentorship to ignite potential and transform futures, and this award reaffirms our commitment to serving our community and shaping brighter tomorrows for our Littles.”

“I am so proud of this group of amazing people who work tirelessly for our organization,” said BBBSWNC board chairwoman Debbie Charlton.

For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has been dedicated to advancing equity, impact, and growth across the organization, as well as making a lasting impression on the lives of young people. By creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships, BBBSWNC helps build self-confidence and emotional well-being. With the help of parents, guardians – and a mentor whose influence can last a lifetime – the agency empowers young people to graduate with a plan for their futures.


“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina’s commitment to creating and fostering positive mentoring relationships is a testament to the individuals within their organization,” BBBSA stated in its award announcement. “Through a shared dedication to meeting the needs of youth in its communities, it continues to empower young people to reach their full potential. We are proud to recognize the agency for its excellence in building brighter futures and championing new possibilities.”    


To learn more about BBBSWNC, visit The organization has a large waiting list of children hoping for adults willing to talk and hang out. The time commitment is small, but the impact is big. Families with children who could benefit from the program are also invited to visit the BBBSWNC website.


Submitted by Paul Clark