It’s going on three years now with the organization and Olivia Scally is even more energetic and passionate about the BBBS mission today than she was her first day on the job!
Scally joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio as a Mentoring Specialist in June 2017. “I was moving to Tuscarawas County from Cleveland and had a background in nonprofit organizations,” explained Scally. “I have seen the impact of mentoring and knew that Big Brothers Big Sisters would be a great fit for me to get involved in my new community and make a difference.”
The mission of BBBS is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. The organization believes that all youth have potential, they just need someone to stand in their corner and defend it.
Big Brothers Big Sisters matches youth with a mentor that becomes a friend and role model. The youth come from all kinds of backgrounds and often benefit from having an extra advocate in their life. While the Big and Little develop their relationship, BBBS staff support them by providing activities, coaching through obstacles, offering resources, and encouraging all parties as the parties grow together
Scally is originally from Cuyahoga Heights and now resides in New Philadelphia with her husband of 5 years, Corey, and their dog, Maddie. Scally explained that she has felt like she’s always been aware of BBBS and that getting involved personally with the organization allowed her to experience the heart of the organization firsthand. “Joining the East Central Ohio team really gave me the insight of how hard the staff works to cultivate and support powerful mentoring relationships,” she said. “BBBS is so much more than a mentoring program and anyone that has interacted with the staff in our office can see how much goes into making our Littles have the best support system possible.”
And Scally knows just how meaningful those relationships can be having personally served as a Big with the organization. “One of my favorite parts about my job is being able to serve as Big and attend some of our school programs. I currently have Littles at Claymont Intermediate, Dover East Elementary, and Carrollton Middle School,” she explained. She meets with each of her Littles for an hour every week throughout the school year. “It has been an absolute joy to watch them grow throughout the year and be there to help them with homework, talk through problems they are having with their friends or at home, and just play games and have fun together.”
Scally noted the opportunity to mentor Littles is often a “break” from her typical workday. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in the administrative tasks that make an organization run, but taking a pause to engage with our mission by meeting with Littles keeps me focused and passionate about what we do.”
Scally has continued to grow with the organization and now serves as the Director of Development & Administration. She plans and coordinates fundraisers, coordinates social media and marketing strategies, and handles most of the daily operations that support programs and the BBBS team.
Scally encouraged anyone who has thought about getting involved with the organization to simply ask a staff member for a success story. “It is clear that everyone that works with us has a passion for what we do and has first-hand knowledge of how our programs have made a difference,” she said. “It’s in the most simple interactions that we see growth and success in the kids we work with and often that success is the result of the Big just showing up and being consistent. Whether the individual is interested in being a Big, supporting a fundraiser, or supporting us financially, they will see the passion and importance of what we do through conversations with our staff.”
For more information about BBBS, including ways you can get involved, visit their website.