Pensacola, Fla. – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida (BBBSNWFL) recognized Gulf Breeze Police Officer, Dennis Youngren as the 2020 Santa Rosa County Big of the Year. Youngren thought he was going to Gulf Breeze City Hall for training when he walked into many familiar faces applauding him. Dennis’s wife, Little Brother, and family, Gulf Breeze Mayor Cherry Fitch, Gulf Breeze Police Chief Hawthorne, members of the Gulf Breeze City Council, and members of the Gulf Breeze Police Department joined the staff of BBBSNWFL as they presented Youngren with this award.
Youngren is someone who has taken mentorship and transformed it into friendship. Youngren has been matched with his Little Brother, Roman for over two years. He became a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters because serving his community has always been a priority, from his commitment as a police officer to want to create a positive experience and environment for youth. As a mentor, Youngren wanted to do his best to instill an uplifting image of law enforcement in a child’s eyes.
“I had mentors throughout my life and now it is my opportunity to step into the community and do my part,” Youngren said. “If it wasn’t for Roman and the relationship we have built together, I wouldn’t be getting this award.”
During this time in our community, bridging this gap is paramount. Since 2018, Youngren has been there for Roman and his family during seemingly insurmountable trials and tribulations; not only as a mentor but also as a friend and family member. From taking Roman bowling for the first time to
nurturing their now-shared love of ice hockey, he has defended Roman’s potential emphatically and exhibited whole-heartedly what it is to be a Big Brother.