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.
For more than 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. Pugliese took the CEO position of managing the day to day operations of the agencies programs in five service counties.
Misty Gardner – Program and Case Manager
Mrs. Gardner joined the agency in 2018 as the Case Manager for Calhoun and Talladega Counties. Misty is based out of our Calhoun County satellite office and manages the Site Based Programs, School Based Programs, and Community Based Programs. Misty is also our Programs Director.
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, and in 2021 she became a Full-time Case Manager for Etowah County. Keisha is based out of our Gadsden office and manages Site Based Programs, School Based Programs, and Community Based Programs. Keisha is also our Forms Assembly Manager.
Casandra Maudsley – Case Manager
Mrs. Maudsley joined our agency in 2020 as a Case Manager for Cherokee and DeKalb Counties, and parts of Etowah County. Casandra is based out of our Gadsden office and manages Site Based Programs, School Based Programs, Community Based Programs, and Outdoor Explorers Program. Casandra also manages our website and Network for Good system.
Dr. Teresa Gardner, PHD
John C. Adams
Dr. Forrest Bailey, DMD
Jacksonville State University
Alabama Teachers Credit Union
Southern Data Automations
State Farm Insurance
Etowah Chemical Sales and Service
Smith and Bailey Dental
Alabama Teachers Credit Union
Gadsden State Community College