Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida (BBBSNWFL) recognized Navy Federal Credit Union, Mortgage and Lending Supervisor; Christopher Martinez as the 2019-2020 School to Work Big of the Year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and respect to social distancing, this recognition took place virtually. The BBBSNWFL staff chose Christopher for this honor because of the impact he has on his Little Brother Josiah's life.
The BBBSNWFL School to Work Program is aimed at helping students improve their chances of graduating and transitioning to the workplace and/or post-secondary education. You can open the doors of hope and opportunity for students by allowing them to shadow volunteer employee mentors in the workplace for just a few hours each month during the school year. This exposure to the workplace and encouragement from volunteer mentors makes a world of difference. This enables the student's self-esteem to blossom, grades to improve, and allows them to graduate high school with plans for a career.
"I joined the program to help and give back, expecting nothing in return. Receiving this award means the world and I am thankful to have been considered for it. Josiah and I got to know each other and we both learn from one another,” said Martinez "I am extremely happy that I was able to help and give advice when needed, I remember being young and sometimes not having someone to talk to, so being there for him means a lot. There are many co-workers and friends that participate in the program that deserves this award and I am extremely humbled to have been selected for it."
Since being matched with Josiah, these two men have met up on a regular basis and have not skipped a beat. Christopher has helped Josiah with many life improvements. He has helped him bring up his grades, get ready for life after high school, but more importantly; Christopher was there for Josiah when he was having personal problems. These two individuals text and talk often about what is going on and can come up with solutions on how to deal with things as best as possible.
Josiah, Christopher's Little Brother said, "Without Christopher being there for me to talk to, I am not sure what would have happened." Christopher has a heart of gold and a passion for giving back. He is always willing to find a solution for Josiah and make it happen. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is honored to award Christopher with the 2019-2020 School to Work Big of the Year. To learn more about BBBSNWFL or the School to Work Program, visit bbbsnwfl.org