Changing lives in a Big way
These individuals have exceeded the expectations of igniting, empowering, and defending potential in Northwest Florida.
We are so thankful for our 2020 Bigs of the Year!
2020 Michael Robidoux Hero Award
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is honored to recognize Big Brother, Marcus Dillard with the 2020 Michael Robidoux Hero Award.
Michael Robidoux was a Big who was matched with his Little Brother Deontrez for over three years. On Sunday March 25, 2018, Michael passed away after trying to save two young children from the surf at Navarre Beach. Big Brothers Big Sisters wanted to honor his legacy by establishing the Michael Robidoux Hero Award to be awarded each year to a Big who exemplifies the passion for serving others like Michael Robidoux did. Every Big is extremely important to our organization, but Marcus Dillard has shown a remarkable level of dedication not only to his Little, but also to others.
Marcus is a 21-year-old, firefighter serving in the United States Air Force. Marcus has been matched with his Little Brother for over a year now and they haven't skipped a beat. On behalf of all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters, thank you Marcus for all that you do to support your Little Brother and give back to the children in our community!
2020 Virginia Thomas Big of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is honored to recognize Cristen Hobbs with the 2020 Virginia Thomas Big of the Year Award!
Virginia Thomas was born in Birmingham, Alabama and lived there until she joined the United States Marine Corps in the very first group of women to join from Alabama. She moved to Panama City in 1965 and, with her husband Tommy, opened Tommy Thomas Chevrolet, which is now known as Bill Cramer Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC. Virginia Thomas was very involved in the community, Her passion and heart were children; opening doors and opportunities they otherwise would never have. Virginia Thomas made a BIG impact in the community and in the lives of so many children throughout her life. This award is to be awarded a Big who exemplifies the passion for serving others like Virginia Thomas did.
Cristen goes above and beyond for her Little Sister Tynetta and her family. Cristen and Tynetta have been inseparable since they were first matched. Cristen has spent countless hours helping Tynetta with her reading, school work and taking her on many outings. She became a part of her family. Cristen is cherished, loved, and respected by so many.
From all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters, thank you for everything you do to support your Little. Cristen, we are truly blessed to have you in our family. Congratulations on receiving the 2020 Virginia Thomas Big of the Year Award!
2020 Ron Mobayed Military Big of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is honored to recognize Logistics Specialist First Class, Kwame Kusi Appiah as the 2020 Ron Mobayed Military Big of the Year!
The Ron Mobayed Award was established as a memorial to the life of Lt. Ronald Joseph Mobayed, who was an outstanding Big Brother while he was stationed in Pensacola for flight training in the early 1990’s. Tragically, Ron and his crew were killed in the line of duty on October 3, 1995. This award is presented to pay tribute to our Military Volunteers in honor of Ron’s love and dedication to the Military Armed Forces, and is awarded to the Big who exemplifies that spirit of Ron through their commitment to their Little, to the Big Brothers Big Sisters agency, and to the children of their community.
Kwame has the heart of gold and a passion for giving back. Kwame was matched with his Little Brother Skyler in 2017 when Skyler was 6-year-old kindergartener. Kwame always has a smile and kind uplifting words to turn someones day around. Because of the role Kwame has played in his little brother’s life and because of the wonderful impact he has made, we are honored to award Kwame with the 2020 Ron Mobayed Big of the Year award.
2020 Bigs with Badges Big of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is honored to recognize David Partrick and his wife Jennifer as the 2020 Bigs with Badges Big of the Year!
Jennifer and David’s match with Kamari is what we call a ‘Big Duo’. This is where two people mentor together and split the responsibility of being matched with a Little. Little Brother Kamari got matched with David & Jennifer in the summer of 2015. Kamari has been a perfect fit for their family. David has been a constant advocate of our Bigs with Badges program and is always quick to assist in the recruitment of other police officers. The Bigs with Badges program supported by Wind Creek Hospitality is a unique one-to-one mentoring program that connects youth and those with badges in communities throughout Northwest Florida, building strong, trusting, lasting relationships. These Bigs include those who are police officers, firefighters, correction officers, and EMT members. This program is aimed at bridging the gap between youth and law enforcement and the goal is to build trust and respect within these relationships. Now, more than ever, these relationships are critical in our community.
On behalf of all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, thank you for waking up every day and deciding to defend the potential of youth in Northwest Florida. We are honored to call you our 2020 Bigs with Badges Big of the Year!
2020 School to Work Big of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is honored to recognize Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage and Lending Supervisor; Christopher Martinez as the 2020 School to Work Big of the Year!
The BBBSNWFL staff chose Christopher for this honor because of the impact he has had on his Little Brother Josiah's life. Martinez said, "I joined the program to help and give back, expecting nothing in return. Receiving this award means the world and I am thankful to have been considered for it. Josiah and I got to know each other and we both learn from one another. I am extremely happy that I was able to help and give advice when needed, I remember being young and sometimes not having someone to talk to, so being there for him means a lot. There are many co-workers and friends that participate in the program that deserves this award and I am extremely humbled to have been selected for it."
On behalf of all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, thank you Christopher for all you do to defend potential! We are so honored to call you our 2019-2020 School to Work Big of the Year!
To learn more about our School to Work program, visit bbbsnwfl.org/get-invovled/.
2020 Okaloosa County Big of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is honored to recognize Sally Pink as the 2020 Okaloosa County Big of the Year!
Sally has been matched with her Little Sister Serenity for over a year now. During the time that Sally has been matched with her Little Sister they have grown to become best friends! Sally never fails to amaze us. Even while COVID-19 was going on she found great ways to stay in touch with her Little. Through Facetime and package drop-offs these two haven't skipped a beat.
On behalf of all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, thank you Sally for igniting, empowering, and defending the potential of youth! We are honored to call you our 2020 Okaloosa County Big of the Year!
2020 Santa Rosa County Big of the year
Big Brothers Big Sisters is honored to recognize Officer Dennis Youngren as the 2020 Santa Rosa County Big of the Year!
Dennis has been matched with his Little Brother, Roman for over two years. Dennis 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 wanting to create a positive experience and environment for youth. As a mentor, Dennis wanted to do his best to instill an uplifting image of law enforcement in a child’s eyes. During this time in our community, bridging this gap is paramount. Since 2018, Dennis 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, Dennis has defended Roman’s potential emphatically and exhibited whole-heartedly what it is to be a Big Brother. Dennis has taken mentorship and transformed it into frienship.
On behalf of all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, thank you for everything you do for your Little and for our community. We are honored to call you our 2020 Santa Rosa County Big of the Year!
2020 Escambia County Big of the Year
Big Brothers Big Sisters is honored to recognize Jenn & Lewis Bear III 2020 Escambia County Big of the Year!
The Bear family has played an important role in building the foundation of the local agency. Mr. and Mrs. Bear were founding members of the local Governing Board and now Lewis is finishing up his 11th year serving on the board. Lewis was initially matched with Sam in the summer of 2011. Lewis became someone Sam could trust and rely on during such a challenging time. Lewis and Jenn have opened Sam’s window of opportunities. They have exposed him to new experiences and encouraged him to focus on the important things in life.
On behalf of all of us at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, thank you for all you have done for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. We are honored to call you two our 2020 Escambia County Big of the Year!