• Big Brothers Big Sisters of RI Wins National Growth Award at National Conference on Dallas, Texas!

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island Wins National Growth Award, Receives Board Recognition, and Mentee Speaks on Youth Panel at National Conference in Dallas, Texas!

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island (BBBSRI) achieved remarkable recognition at the recent Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) National Conference in Dallas, Texas, receiving the Platinum Award for Program Excellence, Board Member Ted Turnbull was honored with the Janice and Bill Hanna Good Steward Award, and Mentee Ethan was selected to speak on the youth panel. These achievements highlight the organization's exceptional performance and the profound impact of its mentorship programs on the community.

    BBBSRI National Platinum Award

    As one of the top agencies among more than 230 affiliates across the country, BBBSRI earned the Platinum Award for Program Excellence, being one of 51 agencies to receive this honor. This award highlights the remarkable achievements of agencies that excel in retaining Mentor-Mentee matches and exhibit exceptional growth in their local programs. BBBSRI's dedication to serving more than 900 Rhode Islanders annually through mentorship, workforce development, emergency funding, enrichment activities, and more has been instrumental in this recognition. The impact is evident, with 90% of parents in 2023 reporting improvements in their child's mental health and 86% noting increased self-confidence.

    "Receiving the Platinum Award is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our team, volunteers, and supporters," said Kaleigh Perkins, COO of BBBSRI. "This honor reflects the collective efforts to empower the youth in our community through meaningful mentorship relationships."


    For over 58 years, BBBSRI has been dedicated to advancing equity, impact, and growth, creating mentoring relationships that build self-confidence, emotional well-being, and future readiness among young people. The organization’s impact continues to grow, shaping the lives of youth and fostering a brighter community.

    Board Member Ted Turnbull Honored with Janice and Bill Hanna Good Steward Award

    BBBSRI continued to shine at the conference with Board Member Ted Turnbull receiving the Janice and Bill Hanna Good Steward Award, recognizing local board leaders who exemplify outstanding stewardship and dedication. Ted's journey with BBBSRI began in 2015 as a donor, and his passion for making a difference led to the creation of "The Big Adventure," a program that provides Mentor/Mentee pairs the opportunity to participate in 6 weeks of ski lessons free of cost. Inspired by his personal experience of overcoming a skiing accident, Ted has raised over $30,000 and provided ski wear and supplies for participating Mentees. His dedication to expanding the program and fostering mentorship has had a transformative impact on the youth.

    Ted is an outstanding Board Member and community leader," said Katje Afonseca, CEO of BBBSRI. "His commitment to our mission and his innovative thinking truly exemplify the spirit of this award.”

    "I am deeply honored to receive the Janice and Bill Hanna Good Steward Award," said Ted Turnbull. "Being part of BBBSRI and witnessing the positive changes in the lives of Mentees is incredibly rewarding. I am committed to continuing this journey and making a lasting impact."

    Mentee Ethan Shines on Youth Panel

    BBBSRI is also proud to highlight the achievement of Mentee Ethan, who was selected to speak on the Youth Panel at the National Conference. Along with 5 other young leaders, in front of over 1,500 attendees, the panel addressed current trends and future aspirations from the perspective of youth. Ethan also shared how his Mentor inspired him to pursue a passion for engineering just by involving him in the process of building a plane. His testimony shows the lasting impact that mentoring can have on a young person’s life.

    Ethan shared, "Speaking on the youth panel was a great experience that helped me overcome my nerves and learn a lot. It also made me realize the challenges and achievements of others, and reminded me that you only live once, so you might as well take advantage of every opportunity."

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island continues to make a significant impact on the youth of Rhode Island. These recent accolades highlight the organization's commitment to excellence, innovation, and community engagement. BBBSRI remains dedicated to fostering and nurturing meaningful mentoring relationships that empower young people to achieve their fullest potential.

    BBBSRI creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, enrolling a child in the program, or making a financial donation, please visit www.BigsRI.org, call (401) 921-2434, or email events@BigsRI.org.

    The Donation Center Foundation of Rhode Island’s mission is to engage in activities to raise funds to support the mission and purposes of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island, and other charities/mentoring programs in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Learn more at DonateRI.org.

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