Interview with Stacy Kramer, CEO
What is the name of your organization, and when was it founded?
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire. We were originally founded in Manchester in 1966.
What is your organization’s mission?
Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Our sole mission is mentoring and building strong and enduring relationships for our youth.
Who do you serve within the Greater Lakes Region? And through what programs and services do you serve them?
We serve youth ages six through 17. Our “Bigs,” the mentors, meet with their “Littles” in community settings, doing things like reading, playing sports, playing a game, or doing some new adventure or opportunity. We also offer site- and school-based mentoring, which is supervised. We would love to partner with more Lakes Region businesses interested in wonderful experiences with youth.
How do you impact peoples’ lives?
In 2020, even despite challenges related to the pandemic, our organization continued serving over six hundred children in ninety-two cities and towns across the state in addition to twenty-six schools and after-school programs. We know we could serve hundreds, even thousands more, children with the continued generous support from our community partners. We have children that are falling behind in school, feeling more isolated than ever due to the pandemic, and longing for a trusted adult in their corner. We watch as our waiting list continues to grow. Mentoring changes the trajectory of a child’s path toward academic and social achievement. Our vision is to match every child that wants a mentor with one. We won’t stop until we do!
How has funding from the Greater Lakes Children’s Auction benefited your organization?
It’s been a game changer for our organization. We are able to hire professional staff that can recruit, interview, assess and make the best possible mentoring match relationships.
What kind of feedback do you get from those you serve?
Andrew Gibson will tell you, without his Big Brother he would not be where he is today. Andrew, a University of New Hampshire alum and entrepreneur, was adopted by his Big Brother at 16 years old. His mother was battling cancer, his father was not involved in his life, and Andrew was headed down what he describes as a “rough road” before his Big Brother stepped in. As a college student, Andrew decided to give back by becoming a Big Brother himself and down the road, he became a part of the board of directors. He serves as our secretary today.
Interview done by Janice Beetle Books.
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