On Thursday, July 18, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago hosted the Graduation Ceremony & Board Meeting at the downtown JW Marriott in the Burnham Ballroom. It was a night to remember! The Mission Moment for the event featured two matches. Big Brother Peter Birnbaum and his Little Brother Kyron Shaw, as well as Big Sister Julie Birnbaum and her Little Sister Wanakee Jackson attended the event to share their unique stories. The two Bigs met at a Big Brothers Big Sisters event years ago, were married one year later, and now have 3 beautiful children that were all able to attend our graduation ceremony as well. Big Peter and Little Kyron were able to speak about their match relationship and how it has continued to grow even more over the years, both residing in Chicago. Big Sister Julie was surprised by her Little Sister Wanakee half way through her speech and the crowd was just as shocked as she was! Wanakee, her fiancé, and 2 year old son were able to fly in from Maryland and surprise Julie for this event.
The highlight of the event was the 32 graduating Little Brothers and Little Sisters. For the 3rd consecutive year, 100% of the Littles in our programs graduated from high school. And to top that statistic, 100% of those Littles plan to pursue a higher level of education through college, a trade school, or the armed forces. The agency was able to honor all 32 matches and their families through a presentation of graduation certificates from our program as well as a post reception. On average, the graduating Community Based matches had been matched for 6 years! On average, the graduating Site-Based matches had been matched for 2.5 years! Our organization is very proud to report those average match lengths and proud to report the average lengths are continuing to increase each year.
Thanks to all who attended this year’s Graduation Ceremony & Board Event. Guests included Board members, Leadership Board members, Bigs, Littles, families, friends, and BBBSMC staff.