It takes a unique situation and a special (and generous) group of individuals to make an immediate impact on the work we do at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph. The local 100+ Men Who Give a Damn chapter was exactly that opportunity.
On February 11, BBBSG pitched a brand new initiative and funding opportunity to the local philanthropic group: the creation of an agency scholarship program to support the post-secondary ambitions of current and former youth in our programs. BBBSG competed for this funding with two other local charities, each of whom appealed to the group to receive support for a variety of worthy causes. BBBSG’s ask, the initiative and the opportunity could not have been more well-received, with the group selecting BBBSG’s presentation to be the recipient of their quarterly support, amounting to more than $12,000 in funding to help launch the program. The agency’s presentation was given by Resource Development Specialist, Jennifer Tremaine, who immediately made a deep and intentional connection with the donors.
Historically, BBBSG’s support for youth in our mentoring programs has extended only until the child turns 17-years-old and effectively “ages out” of the program. While the relationship between “Big” and “Little” typically extends further into adulthood, the agency’s formal support for the match ends at age 17. The new scholarship program, however, will see that change in 2020, with the agency now able to extend financial support to youth pursuing post-secondary education.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters is so thankful to have been selected for funding by the local 100+ Men Who Give a Damn chapter,” said Executive Director, Michael Treadgold. “This funding will immediately allow for us to extend our support to the youth in our programs as they enter their post-secondary years and pursue their ambitions.
“Our vision is that all youth realize their full potential and we believe that this brand new scholarship program will intentionally move us in that direction,” said Treadgold. “I am so excited to receive scholarship applications from our kids as we head into the summer months, learn about their ambitions and be able to provide critical support to help them achieve their dreams.”
To execute the program, BBBSG has struck a small committee of staff, board members and carefully selected volunteers from an array of backgrounds. The scholarship committee will be drafting terms of references and guidelines for the new program, with application windows expected to open in Spring 2020. Further details will be shared on the agency website and scholarship awards will be formally announced at the agency’s annual Appreciation Event in November 2020, where the 100+ Men Who Give a Damn chapter will be recognized as a founding partner. Read more about the BBBSG Scholarship Program, or if you want to make a donation in support of this initiative, please contact us at your earliest convenience.