FEATURED

JPL & d’Vinci Interns Support Underserved Communities through Big Brothers Big Sisters Video

JPL and d’Vinci Interactive summer interns partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) to create a pro-bono brand video to help the non-profit reach volunteers and supporters. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the potential and igniting the promise of youth through one-to-one mentorship programs and other community-based initiatives.

JPL intern Ghalia Ghuniem (Boston University), and d’Vinci interns Abby Fleishauer (Bloomsburg University), Alhaji Kabba (Hagerstown Community College), and Maggie Delano (Penn State University) produced a video using compelling stories from mentors and children to promote the various opportunities that BBBSCR provides.

“Through this experience, our kids and volunteers had the opportunity to share the difference their relationships have had on one another. Their stories and our programs were featured to show there are numerous ways to engage in our mission beyond mentoring, and to inspire the community to invest in our mission. The expertise of JPL and the commitment of the interns is a generous gift that will keep on giving for a long time to come,” said Amy Rote, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region President & CEO.

The video will be used by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region to articulate their story to prospective mentors, corporate partners, and sponsors.

JPL has been donating communications and marketing expertise to area non-profits through its intern program for more than 20 years. To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, visit their website or any of their social channels.

Watch the Video https://youtu.be/ObsUE1yZX4o


Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Board Members Complete 126-Hole Golf Challenge in One Day

Harrisburg, PA (June 2, 2021) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) Board Members raise funds for the organization’s vital mission through a unique golf challenge.

On June 2nd, BBBSCR board members Joe Holston and Brian Lorenz each completed a marathon golf challenge at Manada Golf Club: 126 holes in a single day. They were joined by Patrick Killiany and Craig Kreider, from Giant, who completed a joint relay challenge of 72 holes.

Joe Holston initially presented the idea of a golf challenge to BBBSCR last year.

“As a four-decade supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region and current board member, I was concerned by the loss of fundraising events due to the pandemic,” says Holston. “Then, I saw this guy online who did a 100-hole challenge and I thought to myself, why can’t I do that?””

Holston completed a 100-hole golf challenge at Manada Golf Club on September 2, 2020, raising $60,000 for BBBSCR.

“We can’t thank Joe enough for bringing this idea to the table and running with it,” says BBBSCR President & CEO Amy Rote.

“The time to come together, and make a bigger impact, is now. Our youth are dealing with loneliness, anxiety and isolation, and they rely on their Bigs for friendship, guidance and emotional support. We’re able to continue matching youth with caring mentors thanks to our community and individuals like Joe, Brian, Patrick and Craig,” says Rote.

“This has been a very difficult year for everyone, but it’s been even more difficult for our youth, and they need good mentorship now, more than ever,” says Lorenz. “Normally BBBSCR has many fundraising events through the year to help maintain matches and keep making new matches. Over this past year, due to COVID, we weren’t able to do a lot of those events.”

Even with the fundraising and logistical challenges, the pandemic hasn’t stopped BBBSCR from continuing its services. The agency matches new Bigs and Littles virtually, coordinates virtual match activities, connects matches via the BBBS app, and provides resources for families and volunteers.

“As someone who sits on the board for BBBSCR I felt it was my duty to do whatever I could to help ensure we protect these mentoring relationships,” says Lorenz. “That’s when I decided to join Joe Holston and participate in the 126-Hole Golf Fore Kids’ Sake challenge. If he can do it, so can I, I hope!  I know this is crazy to golf this many holes in one day but if it helps even one child obtain the mentorship needed in their life then it would be all worth it!”

Individuals or groups interested in donating to the Golf Challenge should visit CAPBIGS.ORG or mail a check to ATTN: Golf Challenge, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, 1519 N. Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102

BBBSCR creates friendships that cross rivers, neighborhoods, and demographics to bring hope and resources when they are needed most. To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters and how to get involved, visit CAPBIGS.ORG.

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About Big Brothers Big Sisters                                     

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For 40 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in the Capital Region. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and supporting matches throughout their life (one to ten-plus years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at www.capbigs.org.


$18,750 in Scholarships Awarded to High School Seniors at Beyond School Walls Program Graduation

Harrisburg, PA (May 14, 2021) –  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR)  and Capital BlueCross recognize high school seniors for completing the BBBSCR Beyond School Walls program.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region and Capital BlueCross hosted a graduation ceremony at The Civic Club of Harrisburg on Friday to recognize the inaugural class of graduates from the Beyond School Walls program. The 11 graduating seniors hail from four local high schools: Cougar Academy, Dauphin County Technical School, Harrisburg High School John Harris Campus and Harrisburg High School SciTech Campus.

Beyond School Walls is a curriculum-based workforce development program that provides one-to-one youth mentoring in a professional environment. BBBSCR launched the first Beyond School Walls in March of 2017, matching eighth grade students from Harrisburg School District with Capital BlueCross mentors.

“Each of the students in our program has transformed and grown over the past four years,” said BBBSCR President & CEO Amy Rote. “Compared to their first year in the program, the students are more outspoken and confident. We are proud of all the mentee in our program and their passion for following their dreams.”

“The Beyond School Walls program is a shining example of the transformational power of strategic and intentional educational partnerships and community collaborations that seek to strengthen and support Harrisburg School District’s efforts to prepare students for college, careers, and life beyond high school,” said Harrisburg’s Acting Superintendent, Mr. Chris Celmer. “When our students are supported and mentored on an individual level, they gain confidence in their abilities and begin to see a world of global possibilities that exist beyond school walls. Congratulations and best wishes to these outstanding Harrisburg High School scholars!”

“The Beyond School Walls program has been a rewarding experience for the students, as well as the employees,” said Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Susan Hubley. “Being mentored by a business professional in a corporate environment provided the students with an opportunity to learn and grow in a unique way.  Capital BlueCross is proud to have been the first corporation in the area to participate in the program, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.”

In total, $18,750 in scholarships were awarded to the graduates. Each student received a $1,000 scholarship from Capital BlueCross, and an additional $100 from the Civic Club of Harrisburg. Six additional scholarships were awarded. They included: Elliot Riegler Scholarship ($1,000), Hall Foundation Scholarship (Two $1,000 scholarships), Stonebridge Financial (Two $1,000 scholarships), and Junior League of Harrisburg ($1,650).

About Big Brothers Big Sisters                                     

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For 40 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in the Capital Region. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and supporting matches throughout their life (one to ten years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at capbigs.org.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Welcomes New VP of Programs

Harrisburg, PA (April 27, 2021) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) welcomes Rovenia (Roe) Braddy as its new Vice President of Programs. Ms. Braddy brings close to thirty years of experience working with community youth. Her prior roles include youth educator and curriculum developer and inclusion facilitator for local school districts and charter schools.

“Roe brings an extensive understanding of youth development and family engagement to the BBBSCR team. With Roe’s leadership and in-depth knowledge, we look forward to the continued growth and development of our community programs,” says Amy Rote, BBBSCR President & CEO.

Ms. Braddy has served as a parent advocate for students enrolled in special needs programs, as a board member for a local theatre company, and as a judge for the local ACT-SO program for youth in the arts sponsored by the local NAACP. She also volunteers to read to elementary students as part of the Great African American Read-In sponsored by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

“Caring for kids in our community has been my primary role for nearly thirty years,” says Braddy, “I’m excited to continue my journey as VP of Programs at BBBSCR. I look forward to developing relationships with others in our community who care for the well-being of our youth.”

Ms. Braddy holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Edinboro University and a master’s degree in curriculum, design, and instruction from Walden University. She lives in Harrisburg with her husband and has two adult children. She is also a published author of seven books and a playwright of three community theatre stage productions.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters                                     

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For more than 35 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in the Capital Region. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and supporting matches throughout their life (one to ten years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at capbigs.org.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Welcomes New Development Director

Harrisburg, PA (Feb. 222021) –  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR)  welcomes Mary Murphy as its new development director. Ms. Murphy joins the BBBSCR team with extensive experience in all facets of marketing, communications, business, and consulting for non-profits and Fortune 500 companies.  

“Mary is an accomplished professional with extensive community relations experience and commitment to making a difference in her community.  We are thrilled to have her as part of our leadership team and Big Brothers Big Sisters family,” says Amy Rote, BBBSCR President & CEO. 

Mary brings experience from multiple community commitments including school volunteer, PTO officer, board member for a children’s ministry, chair of outreach projects and lead for various fundraising events. 

“One common thread I’ve pursued throughout the years has been making a difference in the community, especially for the kids’ sake,” says Murphy. “As Director of Development at BBBSCR, I’m excited to continue my commitment to ensure every child has the chance at a bright future.” 

Mary holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Penn State University, lives in Lewisberry with her husband and has two grown children.  

About Big Brothers Big Sisters                                     

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For more than 35 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in the Capital Region. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and supporting matches throughout their life (one to ten years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at capbigs.org.

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Photo Credit: Skerpon Photography

Amy Rote Named President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region

Harrisburg, PA (Dec. 15, 2020) –  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) announces Amy Rote as its new president and CEO. Rote most recently served as interim President and CEO of the organization. She started with the agency in 2013 as Vice President of Programs where she successfully grew the agency’s outreach in its five-county service area.

“Our search committee led a rigorous process with input from a wide variety of constituents, outlining the skills, qualities and characteristics that we sought in our next leader,” said Eric Kiehl, Big Brothers Big Sisters Board of Directors Chairperson. “The committee and the Board of Directors conducted multiple interviews with the strongest candidates, thoughtfully narrowing the pool. Ms. Rote clearly separated herself as the best candidate to lead Big Brothers Big Sisters into the future.”

Rote’s dedication to helping young people in need of mentorship is evident. She designed and launched Grow Big, Grow Well, a health and wellness education curriculum and championed Beyond School Walls, the career and workforce development program that matches high school students with mentors from local companies. Rote also introduced Bigs in Blue, a national Big Brothers Big Sisters initiative that matches youth with active-duty law enforcement personnel who serve as mentors. Under her guidance, BBBSCR’s Bigs In Blue has grown to be the second-largest program in the nation.

“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead this amazing organization. Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to creating opportunities that inspire and empower young people to reach their full potential,” said Rote. “The challenges young people face today are compounded by the restrictions and stress of the pandemic. To build resiliency and ensure they are equipped with the guidance to pursue their dreams, our mission is more crucial than ever.”

Rote graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in therapeutic recreation and recreational therapy. She also has a Master of Education in public health education and promotion. Prior to joining BBBSCR, Rote served as an adjunct therapist for the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute and a certified therapeutic recreational specialist for Masonic Village at Elizabethtown.

She currently serves on Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Bigs In Blue and High School Mentoring Programs committees.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters                                     

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For more than 35 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in the Capital Region. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and supporting matches throughout their life (one to ten years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at capbigs.org.

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Recent Updates

September 26, 2020: Insight with Sylvia Maus, iHeart Radio. Even through a pandemic, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Capital Region continue to mentor and inspire our youth.


September 4, 2020: Spotlight: 100 holes “Fore” Kids’ Sake, Fox43


September 3, 2020: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region raises money with golfing event, CBS21


August 27, 2020: Driving Change: Joe Holston to golf 100 holes in a day to support Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Burg


Our COVID-19 Community Resource Center is Available

Feb 26, 2020

We were featured on the ABC27 “Heart of the Midstate” Facebook Live series. CLICK HERE to view the video.

Jan 29, 2020 – Students in our Beyond School Walls program visited the PA State Capitol Complex. The students had expressed interest in visiting so our staff arranged for them and their mentors to receive a tour and an introduction to various governmental career opportunities. Senator John DiSanto welcomed the students personally, talked about his career path and during the start of the Senate session, he recognized everyone attending from Big Brothers Big Sisters. The students and mentors then got the opportunity to meet Representative Patty Kim and listen to her story of becoming a representative.

Special thanks to Long, Nyquist & Associates for arranging for the tour and meetings with Senator DiSanto and Representative Patty Kim.


Jan 28, 2020 – Meet some superheroes-in-training! They worked with their SUPER mentors at PHEAA to make a super-powered strength chain. Each Little Superhero identified their super powers like sharing, making friends, having a big imagination, puzzle solving, signing and more to make their strength chain. Then, they selected their costumes and designed their super shields! Thank you PHEAA mentors for helping these Little Superheroes embrace who they are!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region was named a finalist for the 2020 CPBJ Nonprofit Innovation Awards. CLICK HERE for article.
Thank you Cummins employees for your generosity! The personal care item bags are a welcome gift for kids in our programs and their families.
A sweet surprise for our newly matched Bigs and Littles! During their Annual Day of Service, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts employees assembled activity bags for Bigs and Littles for their first match meeting.
THANK YOU! CLICK HERE TO VIEW DAY OF SERVICE

Jan 22, 2020 – Students in our Beyond School Walls program are in their junior year. BBBS staff asked the students to identify careers they’re interested in pursuing after graduation. We invited professionals in those fields to join us at Capital BlueCross for today’s session and speak with the students about their career paths, life stories and opportunities.

Thank you to our guests from: Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz, Capital BlueCross, Lower Paxton Police Department, NTM Engineering, Penn State Harrisburg, PHEAA, PA State Police, Sodexo & UPMC Pinnacle for speaking with the students about career opportunities.

A great start to 2020! We have our new building sign installed. Shout out to Egan Sign!
Little Brother learns about the weather on the CBS21 “21 Days of Caring.” WATCH VIDEO

2020 News, Events & Features

1/22 – BBBSCR Named Finalist for CPBJ Award – “Finalists named in CPBJ’s Nonprofit Innovation Awards” CPBJ


2019 News, Events & Features

We are honored to be recognized as the Harrisburg Magazine‘s Readers’ Choice 2019 for the “Generous Spirit” category. We are thankful to be part of an incredible community that supports youth mentoring. We are amazed everyday by the generosity of our volunteers and supporters.

12/20 – Video of Little Brother learning about the weather. – “21 Days of Caring: Big Brothers Big Sisters” CBS21
10/18 – LIVE VIDEO of Chris Garrett going Over the Edge. – “Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region “Over the Edge” 2019” Fox43
10/18 – Video of rooftop view as Ali Lanyon goes Over the Edge. – “‘Over the Edge’ for Harrisburg’s Big Brothers Big Sisters” ABC27
10/18 – “Tom Russell goes ‘Over the Edge’ for Harrisburg’s Big Brothers Big Sisters” CBS21
10/16 – “Heart of the Midstate: Many will go ‘Over the Edge’ to help local children” ABC27
10/6 – Podcast: Mid Penn Bank joins BBBSCR to discuss Over the Edge. “Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Capital Region” Insight with Sylvia Maus on iheart
10/2 – Big Sister Erin and Little’s mother prepare to go Over the Edge. “Mommy Minute: Special pair set to go ‘Over the Edge’ for Big Brothers Big Sisters” ABC27
9/26 – Tom Russell shares rooftop view for Over the Edge fundraiser. – “Harrisburg’s Big Brothers Big Sisters to hold ‘Over the Edge’ event” CBS21
8/22 – Video about “Over the Edge” rooftop rappel fundraiser. – “Go ‘Over the Edge’ with Big Brothers Big Sisters” Good Day PA
8/14 – Article about Over the Edge adventure fundraiser. – “Ready to rappel? Big Brothers Big Sisters will strap you in for a good cause” The Burg
5/20 – “Field day builds bonds between police, kids.” ABC27
5/20 – Police officer mentors meet Littles for field day. “Making a Difference: Bigs in Blue Helping Young Mentees” CBS21
5/2 – “Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Launches ‘Grow Big Grow Well Initiative” Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce
5/1 – Grow Big Grow Well program launch. – “Mommy Minute: Big Brothers Big Sisters initiative focuses on physical, mental wellness” ABC27
4/18 – Community service recognition awarded to Jonestown Bank & Trust, a BBBSCR program partner. – “JBT Earns PACB Hometown Champion Award” Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce
3/20 – BBBSCR board members discuss community impact. “Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser” Good Day PA
3/3 – Podcast: BBBSCR discusses programs and upcoming events. “Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Pt. 2” Insight with Sylvia Maus on iheart
2/27 – BBBSCR receives grant for IT update. – “Dozens of projects funded as Dauphin County announces 2019 gaming grants.” The Burg
2/24 – BBBSCR participates in Match Maddness. “Partnership for Better Health to launch annual Match Maddness.” The Sentinel
2/23 – Podcast: BBBSCR announces new branding and talks about programs. “Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region Pt. 1” Insight with Sylvia Maus on iheart
2/18 – Article about positive impact of mentoring. – “What’s the Buzz?: Recognize your mentor this month” The Sentinel
2/12 – Article about Beyond School Walls program growth with Capital Blue Cross – “Big Brothers Big Sisters initiative highlights career exploration, soft skills for the workplace.” CPBJ
1/9 – National Mentoring Month Video featuring Derry Township PD Garth Warner. – “Become a Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters” Good Day PA