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Local mentor named 2024 Ohio Big Sister of the Year

| April 30, 2024

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 30, 2024) – A volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio is again being recognized at the state level.

Pam Taylor of Strasburg is the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization’s 2024 Ohio Big Sister of the Year. East Central Ohio Chapter President & CEO Beverly Pearch says her dedication to her Little Aubrianna is a testament to the transformative power of mentorship.

“She meets with her not only in our community-based program but also in our school-based program, so they’re constantly meeting together and connecting both in the community and at the school. They’ve very active in volunteering with the humane society, and Pam has really been instrumental in helping Aubrianna to blossom and grow into a child who’s full of self-confidence and enjoys trying new things.” 

Taylor got involved three years ago after seeing the positive impact her husband Graham was making on his Little. She was originally matched with a different child who aged out of the program and enjoyed it so much that she decided to keep it going.

“You see so many kids out there that could use a little extra time and help, and sometimes they just need somebody to talk to and maybe introduce them to things they wouldn’t have done otherwise.”

Pearch says her commitment to the organization and its mission goes beyond mentoring.

“She volunteers at all of our events. During sauerkraut making, you will see her with us for 8 hours with a hair net on packing sauerkraut for us. She’s also very active in her community and church. She gives us refurbished dolls and doll clothes to give out to our Littles and is constantly looking for donations so that we can give things to kids who need it.”

Taylor says she was shocked when she learned she had been selected for the award, which puts her in the running for the national Big of the Year title.

“I don’t feel like I’m doing anything above and beyond what other mentors should be doing. I think there’s maybe more people out there that’s been doing this longer than I have that deserve it more. I don’t know. It’s very humbling.”

Taylor will be recognized publicly during the chapter’s Celebration of Potential event on May 16th at Buckeye Career Center. We’ll find out during the organization’s national convention in June if she has been selected as the top Big in the United States this year. 

This is the third time in four years that a local Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer has earned statewide honors. Brittany Douglas was the Ohio Big Sister of the Year in 2020, and Dan Warther was the top Big Brother for the state last year. 

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