5 mentors to be honored by Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters

On May 8, Nutmeg Big Brothers Big
Sisters – Connecticut’s premier youth
mentoring organization - will formally
recognize five state “Bigs” (adult
mentors) for making a significant
contribution to advancing the
mentoring concept and for changing
the lives of children in need for the
better. The awards are to be presented
at Nutmeg’s annual Big Brother Big
Sister of the Year Awards, to be held at
the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center
in Wethersfield.
Winning awards will be: Lucille
Ruggiero of Middletown; Lorrie
Adeyemi of Wethersfield, Joseph
Posta of Milford; Christopher Fernald
of Bristol and Samaia Hernandez of
Hartford. Samaia will be the recipient
of the Victoria L. Soto Memorial
Award. It’s named in honor of Victoria
Soto, a much loved and greatly
respected teacher at the Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown – who
died heroically on December 14, 2012
in an attempt to save the lives of first
grade students in her care. Victoria was
a “Big Sister” in Nutmeg’s Windham
School District site-based mentoring
program for each of her four years as an
undergraduate at Eastern Connecticut
State University.
A native Californian, Samaia Hernandez
lives in Hartford and has been a Big
Sister since 2008. She mentors a 16-
year-old named Veronica, who lives in
Meriden. Samaia is a press secretary
in the Office of Governor Dannel
P. Malloy. She has been a producer/
reporter at Connecticut Public Radio,
a reporter at the Hartford Courant,
and a reporter at the Meriden Record-
Journal. She was one of Connecticut
Magazine’s “40-Under-40” award
winners for 2014.
“Each of the 2014 Big Brother Big
Sister of the Year award winners
has shown inspiring commitment to
supporting children in need,” said
Andy Fleischmann, President and CEO
of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“These Big Brothers and Big Sisters,
along with the children with whom
they’re matched, are tangible proof that
mentoring works – and is a powerful
tool for transforming individuals,
families and communities.”
Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters is an
affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of
America, the longest established youth
mentoring organization in the world
– founded in 1904. To learn more, go
to: www.nutmegbigbrothersbigsisters.
org. To find out more about Nutmeg’s
May 8 Big Brother Big Sister of the
Year Awards, contact: jalexander@

Brian Kelly
Big Brothers, Big Sisters

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