Bigs of the Year

Bigs Lindsay Litterini and Jared Latchaw Awarded 2024 PA Bigs of the Year

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh is proud to announce that two of our mentors — Lindsay Litterini and Jared Latchaw — have been named the Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year for Pennsylvania.

The two were initially names Bigs of the Year for the Greater Pittsburgh area and then were awarded the Pennsylvania title. The award is given annually to the two Bigs (mentors) in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program who went above and beyond to provide quality guidance and support to their Littles.

Lindsay and Sarah

Joining the BBBSPGH Site-Based program when Sarah was in the sixth grade in 2016, Lindsay and Sarah’s match experience has grown from being a structured bi-weekly encounter to more frequent activities in the Community-Based program to its current status in the Post-Secondary program.

Lindsay and Sarah grew their relationship into one of mutual trust, respect, friendship, and genuine love for each other. Their path also includes bringing each of their moms with them on outings, which created the encompassing support for Sarah that helped propel her from a shy, bullied middle schooler to a vibrant, outgoing, caring college student with a focused plan for her future.

Jared and Jamari

Jamari enrolled in the BBBSPGH Community-Based program six years ago as a fun, high-energy, enthusiastic, yet directionless boy. He had no male role model and was not learning social skills, developing his abilities, or leveraging his potential. However, his new Big Brother, Jared, recognized the spark of greatness in Jamari and committed to doing what it took to turn his Little Brother around. Today, Jamari is well-behaved at home and helps around the house. He treats people in public with kindness and respect, his behavior is improving in school, and he gets good grades.

“I had a gift to give back and wanted to make a difference,” Jared said. “There are so many boys who unfortunately lack positive male role models. I wanted to do what I could to help with that and positively impact my community.”

Throughout their match, Jamari has been highly involved in sports, especially basketball and football. But he also recently participated in a dance program and did not shy away from his creative and expressive side. If the two aren’t having fun in sports, they are involved in BBBS events and the community, and Jared says much of it has a tremendously positive effect on Jamari.

“Jared fiercely advocates for Jamari and has approached their relationship with patience, enormous empathy, consistency, and humor,” said the match’s staff contact, Ed Krien. “They epitomize ‘It takes Little to be Big’ because they thrive off the little moments. Despite the ups and downs Jamari encounters, there is a stable, loving, good-natured male role model who has his back every step of the way.”

Being a high-energy kid and learning to control that energy in school is something Jared said he and Jamari consistently work on. Jared stays in close contact with Jamari’s mom and the school staff. and has one-on-one conversations with Jamari about controlling his energy. “Sometimes it is still a struggle, but there have been great improvements since the start of our match,” Jared adds.

“If my mother didn’t sign me up for Big Brothers Big Sisters, I would be doing much worse than I am now. I needed a male role model to put me on the right track and change my mindset. I will always be grateful that Mr. Jared took on that role. He has helped me in so many ways,” Jamari said.

Jamari’s mom, Natasha, said Jamari’s life before Big Brothers Big Sisters included a lot of ups and downs. “Jamari couldn’t keep focused, or you couldn’t tell him anything. When Jared came into the picture, Jamari’s life changed for the better.”

“My main goal for Jamari is to be a nice, well-behaved young man who treats people with kindness and respect so that when he becomes an adult, he will be a great man in his community who will inspire other young men to do the same,” Jared said. “I believe he is on his way to achieving that, and I look forward to helping my Little Brother reach his full potential.”

 

Previous Bigs and Littles of the Year

Dan Obrien

Dan and DeMarcus

Jen

Jennifer and Carley

 
 
 

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