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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Greater Nashua Big Brothers Big Sisters Littles preparing for future

As local high school students graduate this month, 16 Little Brothers and Little Sisters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua & Greater Salem will be among those donning caps and gowns.

It is one of the agency’s largest graduating classes. ...

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As local high school students graduate this month, 16 Little Brothers and Little Sisters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua & Greater Salem will be among those donning caps and gowns.

It is one of the agency’s largest graduating classes.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters youth benefit from the extra layer of support their mentors give, potentially influencing the outcome of their future success,” Chief Operating Officer Melissa Goerbig-Frizzell said. “We are witnessing this firsthand in the number of long-term matches with graduating Littles this year.

“It is no doubt that youth who receive a mentor have better chances than their peers to have higher aspirations and achieve academic successes, such as going to college.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua & Greater Salem matches adult volunteer mentors with youths in 16 communities in southern New Hampshire. Bigs and Littles spend several hours a month together doing activities, going on outings and exploring their shared interests.

By creating positive friendships with adult role models, the agency aims to improve high school graduation rates and help deter children facing adversity from risk behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.

“I have enjoyed hearing the excitement of both Bigs and Littles as graduating Littles plan for their futures after high school,” said Cherina Cohen, a match support specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters, who checks in regularly with the matches. “The Bigs are extremely proud, and the Littles are all very thankful for the Bigs who have helped them come this far.”

Here’s where some graduating Littles from the area are headed after high school:

Coryauna Pacheco, Nashua High School North, plans to study psychology at Rivier University.

Tiffani Covill, Nashua North, plans to attend NHTI, Concord’s Community College.

Mike Long, Pinkerton Academy, Derry, plans to study filmmaking at Full Sail University in Florida.

Marsha Dow, Merrimack High School, will head to Southern New Hampshire University to study criminal justice.

Brandon Carey, Alvirne High School, plans to attend the New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island to study mechanical engineering.

Brothers Niles and Ian Daly, Hollis Brookline High School, plan to attend Nashua Community College.

Sean Ianni, Merrimack High School, plans to study animation and graphic game design at NHTI.

Stephyn O’Leary, of Nashua, who will graduate from Kurn Hattin School, Wesminster, Vt., plans to attend Clinton Community College in New York.

Amadea Soto, Nashua North, plans to study nursing at one of the colleges where she was accepted.

Tristan Loukides, Merrimack High School, plans to attend a vocational school in Florida.

Claire Hovasapian, Alvirne High School graduate, plans to attend SUNY to major in veterinarian technology.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua & Greater Salem will celebrate the accomplishments of graduating Littles and honor the mentors who support them, and hundreds of other local children, at its annual “You Rock” volunteer appreciation dinner.

“The achievements of our Littles are truly amazing,” CEO Joy Barrett said. “We thank our volunteer mentors for helping them reach their fullest and most inspiring potential.”

To learn about how you can volunteer as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua & Greater Salem, contact Casey Farrar at 883-4851 or casey@bbbsnashua.org. The website is bbbsnashua.org.