America’s Promise Alliance’s Alma Powell to Address Big Brothers Big Sisters National Leadership Summit

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One-to-One Mentoring Exemplifies the First Promise and Helps Reduce Dropout Risk

What: Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2012 National Leadership Summit, sponsored by Comcast and NBCUniversal, where 500 leaders of the nation’s largest youth mentoring network will gather in Washington, D.C. to share strategies for strengthening and expanding one-to-one, staff supported, volunteer mentoring services to help more children succeed. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven by independent studies to help youth overcome adversity to improve in school; avoid risky behaviors and achieve higher self-esteem and aspirations. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 350 local agencies rely on donor funding to carefully pair volunteers in one-to-one mentoring relationships with children of single, low-income or incarcerated parents, or sons and daughters of military personnel. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides ongoing support to mentors, mentees and families to keep the mentoring matches strong so that they endure and thrive, yielding outcomes unique to the organization.

Why: The National Leadership Summit will focus on why mentoring matters for children, families and communities in the U.S. and how to extend Big Brothers Big Sisters’ reach and strengthen its outcomes. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves approximately 600,000 volunteer mentors, mentees and families through its community, school and site-based one-to-one, staff supported, volunteer mentoring services.

Where and When: Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel, June 12-13

Who: Attendees will include national and local mentoring leaders, staff, board members, mentors, mentees, families, partners, schools, donors and others who believe long-term mentoring is a wise investment that prepares children to become productive, taxpaying adults. Speakers will include national education, youth services, juvenile justice and non-profit leaders.

Schedule of Events and Speakers

Tuesday, June 12
8:00am – 9:30am—Opening Session

Alma Powell, Chair of America’s Promise Alliance: With more than 400 national partners, America’s Promise Alliance is focused on improving the lives of America’s young people and ending the high school dropout crisis by ensuring more children and youth experience the Five Promises. Mentoring falls under the first of the Five Promises: Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, Effective Education, and Opportunities to Help Others.

Shelley Stewart, President and CEO of o2ideas, Inc, a corporate communications and brand relations firm based in Birmingham, Alabama, is Founder and Board President of The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation (named in honor of Stewart’s late mother), which helps educators, community leaders and others reduce the high school dropout rate. Rising from childhood poverty and abuse, Stewart taught himself to read and in the 1960’s became a radio personality in Birmingham, Alabama, where he used his broadcasts in the civil rights struggle. His foundation develops innovative tools and resources for educators, community leaders and parents. The non-profit’s Choice Bus allows students to explore consequences for their choices before making bad ones.

Nancy Lieberman, Basketball Hall of Famer, is the youngest USA Olympian ever in Basketball to medal, male or female (1976 Montreal Silver Medal). Lieberman is the only woman in history to be named Head Coach in the NBA D-League for the Dallas Mavericks affiliate, the Texas Legends. Lieberman, a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, is the author of Playbook for Success and will talk about the how to motivate a team and build a culture of excellence to drive support.

12:45pm – 1:45pm—General Session
Dan Pallotta, Author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, is the Founder and President of Advertising for Humanity and the Charity Defense Council. He invented the multiday AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, which altered the landscape of options for the ordinary individual yearning to make an extraordinary difference. These events raised $582 million in nine years, more money raised more quickly for these causes than any other private event operation in history. Pallotta will engage attendees in a new conversation about economic freedom for the humanitarian sector.

5:45pm – 6:45pm—President’s Reception
National Board Members, Corporate Sponsors and Partners. Media must RSVP at

7:00pm – 9:00pm—Awards Gala
Sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Board of Directors member Kate Snow, Correspondent, ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams,’ with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles Little Brother and star of Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjas [], Ryan Potter and human rights activist, co-founder of the Enough project, co-author of Unlikely Brothers, and Big Brother John Prendergast along with his mentee for the last 29 years, Michael Mattocks, co-author of Unlikely Brothers.

Nation’s Top 2 Mentors: Brent Hartsfield of Tallahassee, Florida and Shari Wahlin of St. Cloud, Minnesota will receive National Big Brother of the Year and National Big Sister of the Year honors. Along with Delaitre and Kirsten, the honorees’ longtime mentees, the nation’s top mentors will share highlights from their mentoring journey, and their Littles will share congratulations and gratitude by sharing how having long-term mentors changed their lives. Delaitre, who graduated from high school a semester early, is a candidate for Tallahassee City Commission. Kirsten begins college in the fall after a hard-fought high school graduation following years of caring for her ailing mother, mourning her eventual death, and enduring numerous temporary housing situations. She worked diligently to make up years of lost class time.

Other honorees include:
U.S. Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) will receive the Charles G. Berwind Lifetime Achievement Award, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ highest national honor for a volunteer mentor. Coats became a Big Brother 40 years ago to CJ, with whom he has remained friends, served as a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana board of directors and served on the national board.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation will receive the Chairman’s Award, which recognizes a long-standing partner whose engagement in philanthropic activities has had a significant impact on the advancement of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs across the country. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has been a committed national partner of Big Brothers Big Sisters for nearly 20 years and their significant investment to the organization has enabled the national mentoring network to enhance its family strengthening practices and better track youth outcomes.

Cargill will receive the Big Brothers Big Sisters Community Impact Award, which honors a long-standing donor whose generosity has greatly impacted the community of the organization. Since 2006, Cargill has provided $1.75 million in support to Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Hispanic and School-Based Mentoring Programs in targeted communities across the network. Cargill employees are engaged with the organization as volunteer mentors, event participants, and donors.

Michael Baisden will be recognized for his partnership and support of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Mentoring Brothers in Action campaign. Baisden, who came to know the organization through his own mentoring tour in 2010, has supported Mentoring Brothers in Action via financial contributions, as well as through advocacy and pro bono airtime on his popular nationally syndicated radio program. The Michael Baisden Inspiration Award will become an annual award given to an individual who demonstrates consistent generosity and dedication to support Big Brothers Big Sisters African American mentoring programs.

PepsiCo. will receive Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Enterprise Award, which celebrates partners that have made a significant impact on Big Brothers Big Sisters programs and continue to advance its mission to serve youth. Through employee engagement, in-kind donations and support, PepsiCo. has helped Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies execute successful Bowl for Kids’ Sake events across the country to raise funds for its programs and Tostitos, a brand of PepsiCo. subsidiary Frito-Lay presented the mentoring organization with a $250,000 donation as part of Tostitos’ Fiesta Bowl activities.

Comcast will receive the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President’s Award, which recognizes a partner that has made a significant and innovative investment in the national mentoring network. Since 2008, the media and technology company has supported Big Brothers Big Sisters quality mentoring programs through donated airtime for public service announcements, program sponsorships, national board support, and through its own workplace mentoring program, Comcast’s John Alchin “Beyond School Walls.” Directly impacting more than 300 young people in 12 cities across the country, the program brings mentees and their Comcast employee mentors together every other week at Comcast facilities. Comcast has been presenting sponsor of the Big Brothers Big Sisters annual conference since 2008.

Wednesday, June 13
8:45 am – 9:45 am—Engagement Session
Congressman Chaka Fattah is Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee. This committee is responsible for setting spending priorities of more than $1 trillion in annual discretionary funds. Congressman Fattah is also a Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS). The Subcommittee on CJS oversees close to $70 billion in discretionary spending and supports the Department of Justice’s Youth Mentoring Grants program.

Dan Domenech is Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators and has more than 36 years of experience in public education, including 27 years as a school superintendent. Domenech will illustrate what successful partnerships have done to solve some of the biggest challenges faced by the education system today.

4:00pm – 4:20pm—Bigs on the Hill Rally at Section 9 of the United States Capitol
Participants will include national and local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency leaders, mentors, mentees, families, education/community/juvenile justice partners, donors and others who believe one-to-one mentoring is a wise investment that helps children develop healthier aspirations and reach success in life. The Bigs on the Hill rally recognizes Congress for passing legislation to fund youth mentoring grants at the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Big Brothers Big Sisters is one of several community-based programs that received federal grant support from OJJDP in fiscal year 2011. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ grant for $13.3 million helped 61 local agencies serve children in more than forty states across the country.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The first-ever Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Summary, released in 2012, substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 100-year history. With about 350 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families. Learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer at