It is with a great deal of enthusiasm to announceMs. Candy Brooks, (Englewood) and Mr. Sid Friedman, (Sarasota) have been selected as the 2020 Big Brother & Big Sister of the Year. It is a thrill and honor to have Candy and Sid represent the organization as the Big Brother and Big Sister of the Year.
Big Sister 2020 Award
Candy became Aaliyah’s Big Sister three years ago. Candy has been a tremendous support system for Aaliyah and she is always there to lift her up when she is feeling down. Candy ensures that Aaliyah does not miss important school events so that she can know and feel that she is an important part of her school community. Candy has become a stable, caring, and supportive adult in her life.
Aaliyah recently wrote this about her Big: “Candy Brooks is very sweet, caring, and thoughtful. It is hard to count the times she was there for me through the years, but I can tell you I don’t know what I would have done without her. When I felt lost, she found me. When I struggled in school, she helped me. When I felt powerless, she made me powerful. She helped me find my strength, when I was weak. She has helped me with my family issues and gave me advice, talked me through it. I trust her more than I trust anyone. She is my best friend. Candy and I have fun spending time together, do fun stuff together, and go to the parks, shopping, and love to laugh a lot!”
Big Brother 2020 Award
Sid is an extraordinary person with a perpetually positive outlook on life. He is the type of person that puts everyone else first. Sid has not only worked with his Little Brother Jakobie to develop the tools he needs to maintain focus, but he has encouraged Jakobie to push himself in school. In addition to the academic help he has provided, Sid has been regularly introducing Jakobie to government officials and individuals who own businesses in the local community. Sid wanted to expand Jakobie’s understanding of what he could do and accomplish in life, while also helping him to make invaluable connections with those who could offer Jakobie insights into their careers, possible internships, and how hard work pays off with a rewarding and fulfilling job.
Jakobie recently stated, “Sid is someone who has always been there for me and a true supporter. He has guided me and shown me opportunities and possibilities I could only dream of. He showed me what I needed to succeed in my post-secondary planning throughout high school and middle school.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast
For over 50 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has been matching youth in meaningful, enduring, professionally supported mentoring relationships with adult volunteers who defend their potential and help them achieve their biggest possible futures. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ evidence-based approach is designed to create positive youth outcomes, including educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and improved relationships. This past year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast has served over 1,800 youth across a 10-county footprint. Learn how to get involved at bbbssun.org.
VP for Communications & Marketing
Photos from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast