For 12 years, ROI’s Communications President Dan Gill was a Big Brother. He is deeply passionate about the program and the benefits it provides to at-risk youth, the lasting effect of which he has seen firsthand. Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts matches “Bigs,” mentors, with “Littles,” their mentees, based on shared interests, personalities, and location, and provides a bridge between community partners and families, facilitating change and addressing issues like racial inequality and education barriers.
“The goal comes back to decision making, which is a big part of what we do,” Dan explains. “To make good decisions, you need good self esteem, especially when you’re young. And a lot of our Littles, due to lack of role models in their lives or other factors that may be missing, don’t have the self esteem to say no to bad decisions.”
Children who participate in the program see dramatic improvements in their trajectories. They are more likely to finish school, avoid substance abuse, seek higher education, and find employment than those who aren’t positively affected by early intervention. It’s a cause that is incredibly special to Dan, and that’s why, for nearly two decades now, he has been running the Big Golf Tournament to help fund the life-changing Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
“Being a Big Brother enriched my life significantly and I wanted to do more for the program and help more kids find more mentors, thus the Big Golf tournament was created,” Dan told Patch [hyperlink]. “Thousands of young people across the region could benefit tremendously from this type of mentorship in their lives and we have a responsibility to help enable this opportunity for them.”
After community violence resulted in the tragic loss of a Little Brother, the tournament was renamed in his honor, and is now called The Daquan Burrell Memorial Big Golf Tournament. Its goal is to raise as much money as possible to go towards the continued efforts and interventions the program provides for its beneficiaries.
The New England Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliation has made 20,000 matches between mentors and mentees to date, and each match costs between $1500 and $2000 in funding. The tournament has raised over $600,000 throughout the years, making a direct impact on hundreds of young people in the New England area and helping to enrich both their lives and the lives of their Bigs.
At ROI, we believe firmly in mentorship at an internal level. We work hard to provide our employees with the best possible support to aid in their personal growth, and we create opportunities for career mentorship and learning from within. Caring for our community in and out of the office is a core part of our company culture.