2022 Bigs of the Year


Congratulations to our 2022 Bigs of the Year!

Adam O’Kane

Featured in the Portsmouth Herald. View article.

Adam has been matched with his Little Brother James for close to 4 years now and they have not let distance come in the way of their match. 

These two have a special relationship and when James and his mother moved out West during the pandemic for his mother’s job, Adam was determined to find a way to stay in touch. Adam found time to jump onto weekly video games sessions where they two could talk to each other as they played some of Little’s favorite games. 

When his Mom signed her son up for the program she was looking for a consistent, positive, male role model James could be himself with and have fun with. At the beginning of their match James was very shy but Big Brother Adam has seen his Little Brother mature over the years and had witnessed many growths. Adam was so proud of James this summer when he tried surfing for the first time and could be seen cheering on his Little Brother from the shore.

Adam has always been there for his Little Brother helping him through various transitions as a consistent and caring adult in his life. And, as we know, life is full of transitions and Adam remains a constant for Little Brother James as his family contemplates another move this holiday season.

Emily Riker

Emily is described by many as gentle, compassionate young adult with infinite patience and a desire to provide support to others. She has used her own unique challenges in life, such as anxiety and depression, to better understand her Little Sister’s needs.

Little Sister Briella is a sweet 12 year old that is learning to navigate the world, with a diagnosis of autism and severe anxiety. When Briella was struggling with transitions and needed more consistency, Emily stepped up and came weekly at the same time to provide that.

With Emily’s constant support, Briella has made great strides to overcome severe anxiety about transitions both at home and at school. Last visit, Briella ran out to meet her Big for the first time in three years.

Briella shows her Big how much she means to her not through words or gifts or smiles, but through trust. Emily has been patient and kind and compassionate in a way that has allowed her Little Sister to start to trust and to come out of her comfort zone by putting her Little’s needs first.

#BiggerTogether #ItTakesAVillage

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