Monongahela volunteer wins BBBS award

  • By Jacob Betzner

    Staff writer
January 1, 2013
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Amanda Gunther
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Trisha Hyatt and her “little sister,” Cheyenne.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh honored a Washington County volunteer this week.

Trisha Hyatt won Big Speakers Bureau Member of the Year honors for her dedication to the organization. The award recognized the Monongahela native and University of Pittsburgh employee for speaking at Big Brothers Big Sisters informational sessions, and helping train and talking to future “Bigs.”

“I won the award for going to training sessions for new members,” Hyatt said. “I would go in to give accounts of my experiences as a Big.”

Hyatt, a “Big” for more than three years now, spends more than 10 hours twice a month with her “Little.” She also speaks at training sessions for the organization, helps organize Big Brothers Big Sisters events, and serves as the vice president of the Young Professionals Outreach Board and the Washington County Advisory Board.

Big Brothers Big Sisters makes an impact on the child, but also leaves an impression on the mentor.

“People think it’s really great in (the ‘Little’s’) life, but I really get a lot of enjoyment out of it, too,” Hyatt said. “I like hanging out with my ‘Little.’ It’s truly a win-win situation.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh is a branch of the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network focusing on children. The organization partners with parents and guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, pairing children aged 6 through 13 with screened, volunteer adult mentors.

The Greater Pittsburgh branch serves about 1,200 children annually in Allegheny, Greene and Washington counties.

Big Brothers Big Sisters also recognized Amanda Gunther of Washington as the Washington County Advisory Board Member of the Year. An employee of Washington & Jefferson College, Gunther works closely with students involved in the organization. After nearly three years with the organization, Gunther earned recognition for helping set up matches for “Bigs” and “Littles.”

“To know our efforts on the board connects ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ and makes an impact on that child’s life means a lot to me,” Gunther said.

Hyatt hopes to see more involvement in the organization in the future, and plans on staying involved for a long time.

“It doesn’t feel like work or a burden,” Hyatt said. “It’s something I really look forward to. As long as my ‘Little’ still wants to hang out with me, I’ll be there for her.”



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