Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County awarded scholarships amounting to $325,000 to 46 high school graduates who are participants in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County mentoring program at its first BIG Futures Scholar Celebration. BIG Futures is a college and career readiness initiative designed to equip youth for post-secondary success through career mentoring, education and access to key opportunities. The program is designed to secure successful futures for youth who live in the lowest-income zip codes in Broward County. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County’s scholarship program was initially conceived in 2013 by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County’s Women on the Verge resource group, which harnesses the power of women in our community to support scholarships for youth in the program. “Providing scholarships for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward youth was the brainchild of Women on the Verge founder Traci Miller and charter member Mary Harris,” said Malena Mendez, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. “The program launched with BankUnited’s initial scholarship contribution of $10,000. Over the past 10 years, it has grown into the more robust program known as BIG Futures with additional funders and partners committed to providing scholarships to Littles and high school Bigs for college, trade school or life skills financial literacy programs.” Graduates who participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County’s school-based, school-to-work and community-based programs also received special honor cords to celebrate their efforts. Approximately 250 guests, comprised of scholars and their families and friends, attended the Big Futures event hosted at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. Twenty eight of the 46 scholarships were funded by the Florida Prepaid Path to Prosperity Program Powered by Florida Power & Light. Big Brother Big Sisters Association of Florida, led by CEO Dan Prinzing, worked to establish this important, lifechanging partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations across the state. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County has made a lasting impact on the lives of youth in the Broward County community for the past 50 years. The strong mentoring relationships created by the organization build self-confidence and emotional well-being, empower young people on a path to graduation and higher education, and help them establish a plan for a successful future.