In the News

2017 Bigs of the Year 

Every year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands sends out Big of the Year nomination forms to the hundreds of Littles in the program and their parents/guardians. In turn, Bigs also have the opportunity to nominate a Parent/Guardian of the Year. Each year it is a significant challenge for the selection committee, which consists of a group of past award recipients, philanthropists and business & education leaders, to narrow it down to just one winner in each of these categories, and this year was no exception.  

Recognized at the Match Appreciation Brunch held on Saturday, June 3, 2017 Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands is proud to announce our 2017 Bigs of the Year. 
Big Brother of the Year - Whougie Lo
Big Sister of the Year - Karla Ames
Big Couple of the Year - Bill & Stacia Hoover
Guardian/Parent of the Year - Brenda Osler
2017 Nebraska Big Brother of the Year - Cynric Whitaker
Partner of the Year - University of Nebraska at Omaha

Check out more information on each of our award recipients.  Special thanks to Sonburst Communications for the amazing videos. Also, click HERE to read the article published in the Omaha World Herald.

Big Brother of the Year - Whougie Lo

Whougie was nominated by Little Brother Matthew and Matthew’s mother, Roberta. Matthew and Whougie have had a long friendship being matched for 8 years. Whougie has been there for Matthew through the thick of it all, from 4th grade to graduating from high school. 

 

Big Sister of the Year - Karla Ames

Karla and Kaloni were matched in October 2011. She was nominated by Kaloni and her mother Roxie. They both had so much to say about Karla throughout almost 6 years of being matched. 

 

Big Couple of the Year - Bill & Stacia Hoover

Bill & Stacia were matched with Joshua in September 2015. They were nominated by Joshua’s Grandmother, Brenda. Since being matched with Bill & Stacia, Joshua has really come out of his shell. Brenda has seen Joshua become more positive and his behavior has improved.  

 

Guardian/Parent of the Year - Brenda Osler

On a daily basis, Brenda cares for 8 children in her home, 5 of which have been matched in the program. Keeping up with that many changing schedules is no easy feat but Brenda does it well.

 

Nebraska Big Brother of the Year - Cynric Whitaker

   Each year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands is given the opportunity to nominate Bigs who have truly gone above and beyond in their support of their Little and of the agency to compete for the state and national Bigs of the Year awards. The agency is thrilled to announce that the 2017 Nebraska Big Brother of the Year is one of our very own Big Brothers, Cynric Whitaker. 

   Cynric and his Little Brother Kameron have been matched for 6 years. The friendship Cynric and Kameron have developed over the years has been nothing less than amazing. Kameron states, “I first met my Big when I was 7 years old. Before meeting him school was just alright. I wasn’t as popular, I was bullied and left out. Now that I have Cynric, school is great. He has helped me get through those tough times and now I’m more confident in myself. Cynric’s personality is outgoing but at the same time can be serious. He treats me with so much respect and he acts like he is truly my real brother.”

Kameron’s mother, Kamille states, “Cynric is special to our family because he is present. When thinking of Kameron’s future, I know he will go above and beyond with his education, career and life in general. I can see him becoming a Big himself because he knows what Cynric has done for him. Cynric has truly been a blessing to this family and Kameron.”

Being a great Big to Kameron isn’t enough for state and national recognition. Cynric has also raised thousands of dollars for our program through Bowl for Kids’ Sake and given countless speeches about his experience as a Big to promote our organization.


Partner of the Year - University of Nebraska at Omaha 

The relationship between the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands goes back for many years and involves so many people throughout the campus and Big Brothers Big Sisters  Our agency is so thankful for our partnership we would like to share a few highlights with you.  They are listed below.

We have many Bigs who are current and former UNO students, faculty and staff and we love to send some our graduating Littles off to UNO each fall. Many of these Bigs have come to us through the tremendous number of opportunities the university has given us to speak to classes, clubs & organizations, have booths at volunteer and job fairs and participate in Welcome Week activities. And, some of our Littles were inspired to attend UNO by campus tours offered to Big Brothers Big Sisters matches.

The Community Engagement Center on campus has been an amazing resource to us and countless other organizations. We’ve held retreats and meetings at the CEC and we’ve even been able to bring in our national VP of Child Safety to conduct a regional training at the Community Engagement Center. And, we haven’t spent a dime on renting the rooms or on parking.

Each year for the last 6 years, UNO has donated space and delicious food for the Match Appreciation Brunch. And, last but not least, we’ve had the opportunity to have student interns through UNO’s Student Service and Leadership Collaborative, one of whom joined our staff and many of you know…the fabulous Megan Gentrup.

© 2010 Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, 10831 Old Mill Road, Suite 400 Omaha, NE 68154.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands is a 501(c)(3) organization in Omaha, Nebraska. Our Federal Identification number is: 47-0466144.