Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest of nearly 500 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in the nation. Last June at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's national conference, Kansas BBBS was named the 2003 recipient of the Robert Kommerstadt award, the organization's top honor for leadership.
Last year, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters served 5,683 children in one-to-one mentoring relationships. Despite the organization's success, there is a huge unmet need for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors. Approximately 60,000 youth in Kansas have risk factors that indicate the need for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The organization plans to grow to match 10,000 youth in 2005 and 20,000 matches by 2010.
As Honorary Chairs, Bill and Cindy Self will help promote mentoring children through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. They will be featured in such activities as Public Service Announcements and appearances at events to encourage Kansans to become mentors at local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the state. Additionally, Self will involve Little Brothers and Sisters with his basketball program to highlight the organization and the youth waiting to be matched. This is the first time an invitation to become honorary chair has been extended by Big Brothers Big Sisters to a member of the Kansas community.
Self has an 18-year history of coaching Division I basketball, including 10 seasons as a head coach. At age 40, he has built a reputation as one of the nation's finest young coaches by being part of 11 teams that have advanced to post-season competition. Self started his successful coaching career at the University of Kansas in 1985 under the direction of Larry Brown. He returns to KU this year as head coach of the Jayhawks.
"We are honored that Bill and Cindy Self have accepted our invitation to serve as honorary chairs," said Bill Hanna, chairman of Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors. "Their participation and leadership will help more Kansas children benefit from the friendship of caring adults."
Big Brothers Big Sisters' mission is to help boys and girls, most of whom are considered at risk and live in single-parent homes, achieve their full potential through long-term personal relationships with carefully screened and caring volunteers. For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters or to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please visit the web site at www.ksbbbs.org or call 1-800-KS4-BIGS (574-2447).