Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda [BBBS] marked Mentoring Month with a special awards ceremony at City Hall with Kyle James and Sergeant Bernadette Lawrence named the Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year.
The event was organized by the BBBS charitable organisation and hosted by the Corporation of Hamilton. The Town Crier opened the event and Mayor Charles Gosling welcomed the participants and guests.
Patrina Paynter, Managing Director of BBBS gave an overview of the programme and set forth a goal of enlisting fifty new ‘Bigs’ in the programme by April 2020 and presented a series of awards.
The Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports, Lovitta Foggo addressed the attendees and endorsed the organisation’s mission. ‘Littles’, Kaori Trott, Keidel Astwood and Nadir Young also spoke at the event. Syrica Richardson, Vice President of BBBS closed out the ceremony urging potential mentors to reach out to the organisation and “go beyond to become a mentor, be a friend, or be a resource for BBBS.”
Big Brother & Sister Of The Year Awards
The Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year, Kyle James and Sergeant Bernadette Lawrence were named with heartfelt tributes from their respective ‘Littles’ at the ceremony.
Dellwood Middle Schooler, Amiyah Lake, hailed Sergeant Lewis as “the best Big Sister ever” and went on to explain in a brief speech how their nearly four-year old relationship had developed into a true friendship with regular outings and support with schoolwork. She thanked Sgt. Lewis for helping her ‘improve her timetables and spelling”, and for being a “very good listener”.
A twelve-year veteran of the police service, Sergeant Lewis thanked Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda for the award and encouraged others to embark on the rewarding journey of mentorship.
Quilhana Richardson described the positive impact of his Big Brother’s relationship on his life and the sentiment was reiterated when his mother, Sierra Outerbridge gave a heartrending speech on the power of mentorship in her son’s life.
Kyle James was not available to receive his Big Brother of the Year award however his father attended to accept the honour on his behalf. In a pre-recorded speech, broadcast to those in attendance, Mr James said, “I’m appreciative for this simple acknowledgement. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a mentor. When I first became one, I thought it was all about what I had to give, but boy was I mistaken. I have learned so much and grown in so many ways. Quilahn has been a blessing in my life.” He continued, “I look forward to continue to support him as he continues his journey through life.”
Mentoring Month – BBBS Special Awards
Patrina Paynter, Managing Director of Big Brother Big Sisters of Bermuda, announced a special awards segment recognising key figures in Bermuda’s mentoring community. Mrs Paynter commended Desmond Crockwell for his work inspiring Bermuda’s men to heed the call to mentor young men. Mrs. Paynter emphasized the vital role of men in dismantling antisocial behavior and resolving issues in the community.
Dolphin Quest General Manager, Christine Mihelcic received a Community Partner Award for the ongoing support of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Danielle Riviere, of the now shuttered Centre on Philanthropy, was hailed for her major contributions in training and education that supported the development of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organisation and received a standing ovation from those in attendance. She received a Community Partner award.
Clare Mello of YouthNet received a special honour commemorating her twenty years of service promoting mentorship in Bermuda. BBBS celebrated her leadership in the field and presented her with a Mentoring Advocate Award.
BBBS President and mentor Othneal Haynes was selected as the 2020 Volunteer of the Year. He accepted the award with an emotional speech.
Ms. Paynter saluted Chubb Foundation for their major funding contribution to the 2020 Media Marketing campaign. Samantha Froud, Trustee and Chief Administration Officer for the Foundation accepted the BBBS Donor Award.
Community Partner Awards:
1. Castle Masters – Talia & Rohaan Simons
2. Dolphin Quest – Christine Mihelcic
3. The Centre on Philanthropy – Danielle Riviere
4. BBBS Volunteer of the Year – BBBS President Othneal Haynes
Special Donor Award:
1. CHUBB Foundation –Samantha Froud – who is a Trustee and the Chief Administration Officer for the Bermuda operations – Support of the 2020 BBBS Media Campaign.
Mentoring Advocate Awards:
1. Desmond Crockwell – For commitment to mentoring in Bermuda.
2. Clare Mello – For commitment to mentoring in Bermuda for the last 20 years.
Bigs of the Year:
Big Brother of the Year 2020 – Kyle James – Little Brother is Quilahn Richardson
Big Sister of the Year 2020 – Bernadette Lawrence – Little Sister is Amiyah Lake