The annual KELLY Award (Keep Encouraging Lifelong Learning for Youth) is an educational award supported by Mass Mentoring, the Kelly Family Foundation and Liberty Mutual. The award was established and named in 2007 in honor of Debbie and Ted Kelly to provide educational support to mentees of any age who have overcome adversity. Each year the educational gift is awarded to a mentee, nominated by his or her mentor, who has overcome and persevered through adversity.
We are proud to announce that the recipient of this year’s KELLY Award was none other than a mentee from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Tynnetta! Tynnetta was nominated for this award by her long-time Big Sister, Stephanie Twine-Haig. Tynnetta and Stephanie’s relationship began ten years ago in one of our site-based programs. In 2009, the match moved to our community based program. They have been changing each other’s lives for the better ever since.
Almost ten years ago, we created a bond that has developed into a strong, lasting relationship. We have built trust, companionship and love. I have been there for Tynnetta and in turn she has been there for me.
-Big Sister Stephanie Twine-Haig
Here at BBBSCMMW we are very proud of Tynnetta and what she has accomplished over the years.
We have had the pleasure of watching Tynnetta transition from a young child to a young adult. Stephanie and Tynnetta have attended many of our events throughout the years and it has been wonderful to watch them grow. Tynnetta has found the strength to overcome adversity. She has turned to her mentor for advice, support and help.
-Gail Melgren, Interview & Match Support Specialist
The following are excerpts are taken directly from Sonja Kelly’s speech at the Champions of Mentoring Breakfast at Fenway Park where Tynnetta received the award.
Tynnetta has dealt with a difficult home life from the time she and Stephanie were matched. She faced significant challenges that strained relationships with her parents, and could have become a barrier to her success. Through perseverance and the support from Stephanie and her mentoring program and others she has overcome these obstacles and has achieved many of her goals.
Tynnetta is in advanced placement classes for art, psychology and science. She took a dual enrollment class last year at Worcester State University to get a sense of college work and got an A. She has also excelled in sports and has been a three sport student athlete since her sophomore year, serving as the captain of the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams. She is on the yearbook committee and has volunteered at Abbey’s House, a Worcester organization assisting homeless and battered women, for five years.
Tynnetta recently graduated from Doherty High School and is planning to attend Salem State University in the Fall to major in Psychology and minor in Criminal Justice. A BIG thank you goes to Stephanie for her 10 year commitment to Tynnetta and BBBSCMMW! Your devotion and dedication truly defines the meaning of mentoring!
We would also like to thank Sonja Kelly and Mass Mentoring Partnership for choosing Tynnetta for this wonderful award to help her pursue her educational goals!