2023 Matches of Year Named at Big Appreciation Night

The 2023 Bigs and Littles of the Year were chosen from over 1300 Big and Little matches across 12 metro counties in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to one another and the mission of BBBS.

The process works like this: Bigs and Littles, along with their parent or guardian, submit nominations for the honor. A review panel comprised of BBBSMA staff select a Big Brother/Little Brother match and a Big Sister/Little Sister match as honorees.

The Bigs and Littles of the Year were announced at our annual Big Appreciation event on February 23, 2023, and are part of many agency events throughout the year, including Fashion Play and the Legacy Awards Gala.

Big Sister and Little Sister of the Year: Sarah & Abrill

Big Sister Sarah and Little Sister Abrill have been matched for 3 years. In 2022, they participated in a featured segment at BBBSMA’s signature event, the Legacy Awards Gala. They were also selected to join Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens in the annual holiday tradition of lighting Macy’s Great Tree at Lenox Square.

One reason Sarah chose to become a Big was a desire to help a young child who had immigrated to the US – as she had -- to navigate the complicated process of college prep and application.

In addition to their shared love of shopping and fashion, Sarah and Abrill work together to ensure Abrill is on track to achieve her academic dreams. Abrill’s mom says of Sarah, “She is very successful in her professional life, and committed to her position as a role model. As the daughter of immigrants herself, she knows the challenges Abrill will face. She is a Big Sister that Abrill can count on.”

Big Brother and Little Brother of the Year: Brandon & Amir

Big Brother Brandon and Little Brother Amir have been matched for 11 years! The pair love cheering on the Atlanta Falcons, playing video games, and have a shared interest in cooking.

Amir’s mother credits Brandon’s mentorship with helping her son unlock his potential academically and socially – inspiring his work ethic and expanding his interests.

Amir’s mother notes that her son has not only gained a Big Brother, but a little brother as well. Within a week of being matched back in 2012, Brandon’s son was born. Now, little Brandon always looks forward to seeing his “Big Brother,” Amir.

Congratulations to all of our award winners!

Our Award Winners were:

Rookie of the Year: Cheryl Augustein

Defender of Potential: David McClellan

Big Challenge Winner/Fundraiser of the Year: Christian Doetsch, 2021 BBBSMA Big Brother of the Year

Champion of Potential: Chelsey Tabakian Odom, BBBSMA YLC Board Chair

Big Advocate of the Year, School Personnel of the Year: Keisha Gibbons, Young Middle School

Expanded Site-Based Match of the Year: Lead Mentor Quantavis Tilley & Little Jameiron

Group of the Year: Lead Mentor Trikelia Browning and Little Sisters Dereona, Jayla, Khadijah, Ni-khole, & Sydney, Herman J. Russell West End Academy

Big Sister & Little Sister of the Year: Big Sarah Lopez & Little Abrill

Big Brother & Little Brother of the Year: Big Brandon Jackson & Little Amir

Along with the award announcements, there were eight giveaways that Bigs were able to enter!

These giveaways included: free tickets to Overtime Elite’s semi-finals basketball game, gift cards to The Nook, Waffle House, Shake Shack, NFA Burger, & Chopt, VIP tickets to an Atlanta Braves game, Atlanta Hawks game, Atlanta Motor Speedway, a SZA concert, a Legendz of the Streetz concert, & Moulin Rouge performance, free classes at Orangetheory West Midtown, Club Pilates, & Corepower Yoga, gift cards to Zoo Atlanta, the Illuminarium, Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Dad's Garage, Chick-fil-A Hall of Fame, Splatter Studio, & Epicurean Atlanta, a swim in the ocean voyager at the Georgia Aquarium, gift cards to The 3rd Spot, Rumi's Kitchen, Southern Proper Hospitality Group, Nina & Rafi, Olivia Restaurant Group, Castellucci Hospitality Group, & Yebo Beach Haus, and, lastly, gift cards to Onward Reserve, Piece of Cake, The Les Mains Nail Bar.

BBBSMA Board Chair, Rita Breen, and BBBSMA President/CEO, Kwame Johnson, then wrapped up the night by expressing their gratitude to our Bigs, volunteers, YLC, Board, sponsors, and staff.

Thank You to our Sponsors of Big Appreciation Night: Inspire Brands, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Overtime Elite, Arby’s Foundation, The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Ponce City Roof, Leave of Absence (LOA), Olivia Restaurant Group, World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Chopt, True Story Brands Restaurant Group, Your 3rd Spot, Epicurean Atlanta, Fox Theatre, Nina & Rafi, Castellucci Restaurant Group, Illuminarium, Shake Shack, Les Mains Nail Salon, Piece of Cake, NFA Burger, Corepower Yoga, Kimpton Shane Hotel, Orangetheory Fitness - West Midtown, Club Pilates - Brookhaven, Max + Well Prepp, Georgia Aquarium, College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Onward Reserve, Southern Proper Hospitality Group, Waffle House, Byrd Cookie Company, The Nook, Alliance Theatre, Dad’s Garage Comedy Club, Rumi’s Kitchen, Splatter Studio, Chattahoochee Food Works, and National Center for Civil & Human Rights Museum.

If you didn't attend, please check out the awards presentation here: https://bit.ly/3KMEuwD.