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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks receives national award

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks Inc. was honored by its national parent organization for quality in mentoring.

The local chapter was among 53 of 230 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America agencies nationwide recently chosen for the Quality Award, according to a news release. The award recognizes local chapters for excellence in the organization's signature one-to-one youth mentoring program.

“I am so proud of our staff and board for making quality programming a priority for our local children,” said Susan Mellentine, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, in the release. “Their hard work equates to a larger impact in the Springfield community and a brighter future for area youth.”

Quality Award winners were recognized during Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's national conference held last month in Indianapolis.

Maggie Riggs, vice president of program for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, said the one-to-one mentorship program has served 175 children so far this year, with a goal of 278 by year’s end. That would be up from 191 kids last year, she said.

"This past school year we were able to add back our lunch buddy program at Springfield Public Schools," she said of the increase, noting the program was put on hold amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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