President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities
“I grew up in South Korea and lived in the Holt Orphanage until I was 12 years old. Sergeant Singley would visit the biracial children in the orphanage. He would sit with us, watch us play our games, and take us to the army base store for treats. When Sergeant Singley pulled up in his Jeep, we all knew that we were special: someone was coming purposely to see us. With Sergeant Singley, I had my first hamburger, I knew that there were men of color who were somebody, and most importantly, I understood the power that one person can make in the life of another.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters in Minnesota serves over 3,000 children. Our children, or ‘Littles’ as we call them, face many obstacles.
Eighty-five percent live at or below the poverty level. Three quarters are from single-parent homes. About one fifth of the children we serve have a father who is incarcerated. Our Littles’ families do the best they can, but they are not able to do it alone.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters provides an experience for Littles and their families that enables them to see possibilities in their lives and in the lives of their children that they may never have dreamed.
“And when that happens? Our Littles have beaten the odds. When children facing adversity receive their diploma, they’re doing better than many of their peers. When they begin some post-secondary plan, they’re doing better than most of their peers. The Big Brothers Big Sisters formula is simple, time-tested, evidence-based, and it works.”
Published Date:February 15, 2019