• CBSBB Appoints Vidhya R. Kelly, LMSW, as New Executive Director

    The Board of Trustees of the Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers (CBSBB), has appointed Vidhya R. Kelly, LMSW, as the new Executive Director of the 115 year old nonprofit organization. Ms. Kelly brings a wealth of experience in mentoring and youth development working with vulnerable populations. “We are thrilled to have Vidhya’s guidance, energy, enthusiasm and expertise" said Joseph A. Pollicino, Jr., CBSBB President of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Kelly begins her term on February 1, 2017.

    Ms. Kelly has spent her entire career in youth development, most recently as Chief Program Officer at Harlem RBI, where she supervised Harlem RBI’s East Harlem and South Bronx kindergarten through college continuum. Prior to Harlem RBI, Ms. Kelly spent 15 years at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York City rising to Deputy Executive Director where she developed specialized programs to serve the city’s most vulnerable youth, including teen mothers, new immigrants and children with disabilities and opened up satellite offices in the South Bronx, Jamaica, Queens and East New York, Brooklyn. In this capacity, Ms. Kelly testified extensively at government, corporate and professional conferences as a recognized leader in the field of mentoring. “I am honored to be leading CBSBB at this time in its history and excited to build on its solid reputation and its many contributions to the field of mentoring,” said Ms. Kelly.

    Vidhya is a first generation American from India, where she often travels and has been involved in supporting the educational needs of impoverished children and adults living in the villages of south India. She also coaches in several youth sports leagues throughout New York City including Peter Stuyvesant Little League, Manhattan Kickers Soccer Club and CYO basketball League. She is the mother of a 10-year old daughter and twin 8-year old sons, and resides in New York City with her husband. She holds an MSW degree from NYU and a B.A. from Lehigh University.

    About Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers

    The Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers is a non-profit, non-sectarian community-based organization, dedicated to helping youth and their families by providing one-to-one mentoring services for children of all faiths and backgrounds, ages 10-18 throughout New York City.

  • Match Highlight: Linda and Jo

    CBSBB mentor Linda, a digital media representative, has been matched for a year with her “Little” Jo, who is a junior in high school. They both say they were surprised at how fast they clicked and connected. That might just be because both Linda and Jo are open, relaxed and ready for new adventures. They have enjoyed riding tandem bikes in Central Park and going swimming and they plan to try yoga, laser tag and volunteering at a soup kitchen. Between outings, they keep in touch with phone calls and texts.

    A mentoring match doesn’t operate in isolation. Each match is supported by CBSBB’s Mentoring Coordinators, who check in with both the Big and the Little and the Littles’ family, to make sure things are going smoothly. And sometimes the mentor gets to know the Little’s family. One mentor, Linda, a digital media representative, visited the family of her Little, Jo, for brunch. Later, Jo’s mother Edo shared some thoughts with Jess Jardine, the match’s Mentoring Coordinator. “Linda is so relaxed and easy-going,” said Edo. “Jo can continue to be herself with Linda. Linda doesn’t judge; she makes Jo laugh. Jo has come to trust her, and has really opened up.”

    Edo went on to say that CBSBB has given Jo a community and a network that parents don’t have access to. The mentoring relationship lets the kids know there are good people in the world who can be trusted. The experience can open up the world for them. It promotes healthy discussions and encourages their development and their dreams for the future. “When Linda came to brunch, she didn’t seem like she was in a hurry to leave” said Edo, “she fit right in. Jo and I are so appreciative of Linda.”

     

     

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