We are proud of the work we do and invite you to join us on the Road To 100 years as we celebrate and highlight the stories and impact of our mentors and mentees through the years.

Share your stories with us, if you were a Big (mentor), Little (mentee), a parent, Board Member, Community or Corporate partner with our mentoring program we want to hear about your mentoring experience and welcome you to fill out the connect with us.

MAY 2022 | Mothers/Guardians are important to the success of mentoring. They invite our mentoring program into their family and allow our mentors to become an important part of the life of their child. We partner with them to ensure the mentoring experience is a positive one and so their child gets the most out of the experience.

Throughout the years we have had many mothers provide testimonies of the way our mentoring program has impacted their child’s life, and the family as a whole. Most recently we reconnected with Verenisa, who enrolled her child in our program in 1997:

At the time when I reached out to CBBBS, my son Nathan was 8 years old and I was 25 years old. I knew that Nathan was hurting from not having a relationship with his father. I came across CBBBS and I thought this would be a wonderful experience for my son – indeed it turned out to be more than I had envisioned. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what feelings would arise with our participation in the program. My own childhood wounds surfaced and my anxiety increased. I questioned whether this was the right program for us. With the support and reassurance of our case manager, I was able to overcome my own fears. Big Brother, Alfredo, offered encouragement and engaged in fun activities with Nathan. They both shared similar interests in comics, superheroes and art. Alfredo was reliable, responsible and authentic, which is exactly what Nathan was missing in his life from a male role model.

Our lives had many challenges and we encountered many obstacles. With the support of community programs, such as, CBBBS we were able to access resources, were exposed to positive experiences and it gave us hope for a better tomorrow.

Nathan graduated with his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA. Currently, he is working in business management. I earned two Master’s degrees and have a successful career in Social Work, Consulting, and Coaching.

APRIL 2022 | Throughout the years we have come across the generosity of many who support our mentoring organization. April is National Volunteer Month and we’d like to feature some of the volunteers who have gone above and beyond for youth mentoring.

As we continue toward our Road to 100 Years we want to ensure we highlight as many champions as we can. Below are some of our stellar volunteers that have been a champion of our mission.

Johana Hernandez – Johana is a Big Sister and extends her talent and skills to support youth in our program as an event presenter and CBBBS’ Prom Dress Giveaway. Her company, GLAUDI, and charitable support has been recognized in the field.

Ulisses Sanchez – Ulisses is a CBBBS Board Member and was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as Volunteer of the year in 2016.

Michael Trueblood – Mike was a Big Brother, Board Member and Committee lead. He was named National Big Brother of the Year in 2011.

MARCH 2022 | Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters has been serving the Los Angeles County community since 1925. With youth mentoring at its nucleus, it has also developed intentional programs to further reach and support the community.

In September 1991, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Mentoring Program (formerly known as the Hearing Impaired Program) was created to provide program accessibility to Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth, adults, families, friends, and the community associated with them.

This unique program offered friendship and communication that helped bridge the gap between the hearing and deaf communities, as it provided youth/adults with a mentor/mentee. One of our very own, Juan Wilson, became a Big Brother to Damian Marsh on Feb 22, 1993 and was a leader within the program. They still keep in contact with one another to this day.

The program provided life friendships, opportunities of growth and a lasting impact through mentoring.

FEBRUARY 2022 | “Nathan is 18 now, still in college. He just finished his first semester at Long Beach City College…he has made tremendous strides as a person, and he is growing every day…he’s an inspiration to his twin brothers… and he works hard to ensure that they see that.”

Big Brother Akeem recently told us about the progress he and Little Brother Nathan have made since they were introduced and matched in 2013. Along the journey of their mentoring relationship, they have supported each other to reach life’s milestones and in the pursuit of personal and career goals.

Big Brother Akeem shared the highlight of his experience as a Big Brother was seeing Nathan grow and become a young adult. Today, they have “graduated” from our traditional program and joined the CBBBS Alumni Group.

Akeem shares he is in his 7th year of teaching at a local Los Angeles area Middle School. He looks forward to getting married in 2022. He has founded Zenith Citizens, which helps young students bridge the gap between challenges and success leading to new heights.

We look forward to continuing to keep in contact with Akeem and Nathan and supporting their successes!

JANUARY 2022 | Julie Magallanes Guevara began her journey with Big Brothers Big Sisters when she got involved with Big Sisters of Los Angeles 22 years ago as a founder of the Latino Advisory Board, leading to her appointment to Chair of the Advisory Board in 1998 lasting 6 years. She later became a Big Sister in 2006 which lasted 3 years. She was appointed to the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles in 2001, lasting nine years. In 2004 Ms. Magallanes Guevara was asked to work as a consultant with the national office of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to help in their outreach to the Hispanic/Latino Community. Through this consultation the organization realized the overwhelming necessity for a group that would provide leadership for the national organization in reaching out to the Hispanic /Latino community. In 2004 Ms. Magallanes Guevara was one of the founding members of the National Big Brothers Big Sisters Hispanic Advisory Board and in 2006 was chosen to be the Chair of the Hispanic Advisory Board for 4 years.

Julie understands the power of mentoring on a personal level from her parents, not just because she was mentored by them in the most powerful way, by words and actions, but by the way they were mentored. Her father was raised in a home with seven siblings and may not have always hung out with the right crowd but when his mother was determined to move her family to a better part of town, and she did, he became mentored by an LAPD officer and found the right way. Ms. Magallanes Guevara’s mother spent her very early years raised in an orphanage by the Sisters of Charity and then became part of the Los Angeles County Foster System until she was taken in by foster parents who cared for her very much and became a part of her life until they passed.

She continues to her advocacy of mentoring through her role as the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Special Events with Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters (CBBBS). She joined CBBBS in 2016 and has been able to further develop relationships with local law enforcement and CBBBS for the Bigs with Badges program. MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership recognized Julie in 2017 as an honoree for the Annual Excellence in Mentoring Awards. This was a recognition for her long standing commitment to expanding quality mentoring relationships for young people. She is also a strong leader with Big Brothers Big Sisters CA State Association through its advocacy work to bring forth the importance of youth mentoring state-wide. For January Mentoring Month and as our Road to 100 Years feature, we could not think of a more appropriate person to highlight as a true mentoring champion.