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Feb 8, 2023 | Featured News | 0 comments

CHS’s Yudith Mendez is named High School Big Sister of the Year

Featured News | 0 comments


Written by Tina Botill


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California Honors Bigs of the Year

Corcoran High School has the distinct honor of being the home of this year’s High School Big Sister of the year! Corcoran High School’s Yudith Mendez was honored last Tuesday by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California in a surprise ceremony which was held in the Technology Learning Center (TLC).

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California wrapped up National Mentoring Month by selecting four individuals as Bigs of the Year in four categories.

Across the nation, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) affiliates are celebrating National Mentoring Month.

The Central California affiliate is no exception; they announced Bigs of the Year that will represent the agency and its mission for the 2023 calendar year. In addition to Yudith, other Bigs of the Year are as follows:

–Big Brother of the Year: Nathaniel Boateng of Fresno.

–Big Sister of the Year: Rachell Jackson of Fresno.

–High School Big Brother of the Year: Keegan Dickinson of Lemoore.

 “Yudith, Nathaniel, Rachell, and Keegan truly are examples of what it is to be a selfless individual and putting the needs of others before their own,” said Diane Phakonekham, Executive Director. “Many equally amazing and deserving Bigs were nominated and making a selection among them was extremely challenging for our Bigs of the Year Committee. Every single Big that volunteers their time to mentor a child is a winner in my book!”

The selection committee was tasked with selecting a mentor they believed exemplified what a Big

Brother or Big Sister should be.

A Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year were selected in the Community Based category: An adult volunteer meets with a child two to four times per month in the community. Volunteers are matched with children based on shared interests and commit to at least one year of service.

A Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year were selected in the High School Bigs category: Students meet once a week for 90 minutes at the elementary school site. BBBSCC staff coordinates and supervises all match meetings. By playing sports, games, drawing, talking together, doing hands-on STEM activities,

Littles develop and improve their academic and social skills.

Stephanie Florez, the program coordinator for Kings and Tulare Counties has been in charge of the Bigs program at Corcoran High School and she has seen first-hand the amount of time and dedication Yudith has shown to her Little Matthew Perez.

“I have had the honor of working alongside Yudith for three years. Yudith is an outstanding Big she is consistent, patient and kind and she always lends a helping hand. Yudith has a BIG future ahead of her and I am so excited to see where life takes her,” Florez noted.

Corcoran High School Principal Antonia Ramirez says that Yudith, who is a senior, has done well throughout her high school career.

“Yudith has been a very active student at CHS. Her plate is filled with activities to better herself and the community. I was not at all surprised to see her recognized for this achievement. We are all incredibly proud of her and want to congratulate her hard work, giving character, and dedicated mindset. She has been wonderful to have these past four years,” said Principal Ramirez.

Anyone wishing to become involved as a mentor can get in touch with BBBS by visiting www.bigs.org or calling 559-268-2447.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California’s mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Since 1968, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central

California served more than 20,000 children in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties. As an affiliate of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Federation, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, BBBS develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

Yudith Mendez of Corcoran was recently honored by Big Brothers Big Sister of Central California as the High School Big of the Year. Shown above are (L. to R.) CHS Principal Antonia Ramirez, program coordinator for Kings and Tulare Counties Stephanie Florez, Yudith’s “Little Brother” Matthew Perez who is a student at John Muir Middle School, CUSD Superintendent Eduardo Ochoa, Yudith and John Muir Principal Dave Whitmore.

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