We are here to start something
Big Brothers Big Sisters is not your typical organization. We help children realize their potential and build their futures. We nurture children and strengthen communities. And we couldn’t do any of it without you.
Changing perspectives. Changing lives.
Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.
All youth achieve their full potential.
By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers, and others in the community we are accountable for each child in our program achieving:
* Higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships
* Avoidance of risky behaviors
* Educational Success
Overview of Big Brother Big Sisters of Northeast AL.
For 38 years professional staff have matched local children who are facing adversity with safe, positive mentors in one to one mentoring relationships. The proven results of these wonderful friendships are improved grades and behavior; decreased use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs; increased self esteem, confidence, and caring about others. Mentors and staff are in a unique position to detect neglect and abuse of children; influence parents; bring awareness to community leaders of the needs of children of adversity. These children grow up to be productive adults.
Children may be referred to Big Brothers Big Sisters by a parent or guardian, counselor, physician, Department of Human Resources, Department of Public Health, School staff, judicial system, friends, and relatives. With parental/guardian consent, the child is matched with a safe, screened volunteer who has agreed to visit with the child four or more hours or per month for an appropriate fun one on one activity. Matches are made based on personality, interests, and locality and are managed with regular follow up by Big Brothers Big Sisters professional case managers.
Although the mentor may choose to visit the child only at school, others may choose to visit the child in the community attending events or spending time together on fun one to one activities: fishing, hiking, camping, ballgames, picnics, swimming, fishing, church activities, manicures, biking, playing games, or just hanging out! There are also frequent free group activities provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters for Bigs and Littles and their families.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama is proudly accredited by the Standards for Excellence Institute as having met all the requirements of the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama was awarded the Gold Standard Award for high achievement by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
United Way of Etowah, Calhoun and Talladega Counties, Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, Stringfellow Health Fund, Wells Fargo, Premiere Cinemas, Sunny King Charity Classic, City of Anniston, City of Jacksonville, City of Gadsden, Department of Homeland Security, Anniston Kiwanis Clubs and Gadsden Kiwanis Club, Honda, Etowah County Community Development Committees, Exchange Bank, WinSouth Credit Union, Alabama Power, APSO, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Southern States Bank, Regions Bank, Etowah County Sheriff Departments. Calhoun County Sheriff Department, Wal-Mart, Dollar General, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Battelle, Gadsden State Community College, Gold’s Gym, New Flyer, Back Forty Beer Company, Job Corps, First United Methodist Church of Anniston and of Gadsden.
Valerie S. Pugliese- CEO
Mrs. Pugliese joined the agency in 2001 hired as the Site Based Coordinator for Etowah County. Responsible for the school, site and after-school based mentoring programs. She recruited volunteers and youth, enrolled and managed them with match support and case management. In 2007 she took the Outreach Coordinator position in Calhoun and Talladega Counties. Managing the office and enrollment in community and site based programs, fundraising, grant writing, outreach and capacity building. In 2012 Ms. Shannon took the CEO position of managing the day to day operations of the agencies programs in five service counties.
Rachel Lotfi- Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Lotfi has been with the agency since 2008 serving first as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer working in our School and the Coosa River Champions Mentoring Grant with Gadsden City Schools. She was hired and trained to manage the Agency Information Management System that oversees all information regarding our youth, parents, volunteers, donors, and outcome measures. Mrs. Lotfi is responsible for all grant reporting and is the Administrative Assistant to the CEO.
Misty Gardner – Program and Case Manager
Mrs. Gardner joined the agency in 2018 as the Programs and Case Manager for Calhoun and Talladega Counties. Misty works in the Calhoun County satellite office and manages the Site, School, and Community Based Programs.
Keisha Rice – Case Manager
Mrs. Rice joined agency in 2017 as a VISTA Volunteer. In 2019 she was hired as a part-time Case Manager for Etowah and Cherokee Counties.
Board of Directors
Dr. Teresa Gardner, PHD
Michele Bradford, J.D.
Dr. Forrest Bailey, DMD
John C. Adams
Jacksonville State University
Gadsden State Community College
Alabama Teachers Credit Union
Etowah Chemical Sales and Service
Gadsden City Schools- Retired
Smith & Bailey Dental
State Farm Insurance
Southern Data Automations