Celebrating Graduates and 100% Graduation Rate


This Saturday, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound brought our community together to celebrate all of the high school seniors in our programs at our annual graduation celebration.

Each and every one of these seniors is graduating!

In fact, 100% of high school seniors with a mentor from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound graduate from high school each year. Your support makes that 100% graduation rate possible, and the support of a wonderful donor just like you actually funded Saturday’s celebration.

The event was a testament to the power of mentorship. With inspiring speakers, heartfelt recognition, and the presentation of the Matthew Dobie & Stephen Hartnett Memorial Scholarship, the graduation celebration highlighted the impact a strong support system can have on a young person’s life.

Caila Nickerson, the Chief Programs and Impact Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, started the evening by acknowledging the significant role of mentors and parents/guardians in the graduates’ lives. She shared a key tenet of BBBSPS – that having a community of support around you can make all the difference.

President & CEO Alonda Williams took the stage to share a heartfelt speech. She recounted how an oak tree in her family member’s yard had served as a lifelong source of inspiration. The oak tree, standing tall and unwavering in the face of storms, symbolized the resilience, strength, and growth she witnessed in the graduating seniors. Alonda encouraged the young graduates to embrace their unique journey and how mentorship helped them along the way.

Generous community member and Big Brothers Big Sisters supporter Sharon Dobie presented the Mathew Dobie and Stephen Hartnett Memorial Scholarship. She awarded the scholarship to three young graduates, recounting the stories shared in scholarship applications and the young ladies’ next steps after graduation. Sharon also spoke of her own sons and the lifelong impact their Big Brothers had on them.

As the speakers shared and dinner was served, the graduates and their Bigs shared smiles, laughs, and heartfelt moments. The graduates’ families & friends clapped and celebrated right along alongside them.

It was a joyful and inspiring graduation celebration, and everyone in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound community made it possible. From the parents/guardians who helped get their youth signed up, to the staff who found each child just the right Big, to the Bigs themselves who give so much time, support, and guidance. All of that connection and each of those steps is made possible by donors and supporters like you, reader. Your gifts make the whole journey possible.

You know that mentors make an indelible imprint in kids’ lives. They impart lessons, give guidance, and share the joy and pain of life’s biggest and smallest moments. Mentorship creates a foundation that young people can always rely on – building confidence and improving emotional well-being.

Thank you for igniting potential in these young people through mentorship.




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