Local Big Brothers Big Sisters is agency of the year

Sandra ClarkOur Town Youth

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, based in Knoxville, was named national agency of the year at the virtual annual conference held June 15-26.

Brent Waugh, CEO of the local agency, is ecstatic. “It’s really a huge honor and a testament to the support we receive all year from our bigs, our littles and our donors. Our team and board are just phenomenal.”

Adult volunteers are called “bigs,” while the youth they work with are “littles.”

Waugh said the judges looked for diversity, equity and inclusion. They expect a growth in revenue and in children served. Knoxville got a boost when a local big and little were featured in Humans of New York, a website with a national following.


The local agency was recognized for “outstanding leadership” and increasing the number of children served in their communities, according to a statement from the national organization. “Each one has also made key strategic decisions that have resulted in innovation and growth during the past year.”

With 240 agencies nationwide, top honors went to:

  • Large Agency of the Year: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts [Boston, Massachusetts]
  • Mid-Large Agency of the Year: Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee [Knoxville, Tennessee]
  • Small-Mid Agency of the Year: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Sierra [Cameron Park, California]

“Those selected were recognized for: increasing the number of children served, the quality and length of each mentoring relationship, and increased revenue, all key components needed to ensure agencies can continue help more youth who want and need a mentor in their lives,” said Pam Iorio, president/CEO of Big Brother Big Sisters of America.

Founded in 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is the largest and most experienced youth mentoring organization in the United States with 240 local agencies serving more than 5,000 communities across all 50 states.

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