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Celebrating 2023 Big Brother of the Year John Wuzzardo

“I wanted to become a Big to provide support, positivity, and hope for a young person,” John Wuzzardo shared, and that is exactly what he did! 

Luis entered the Big Brother program leading to John and Luis being matched. Things went well from the start. John and Luis saw one another often at school, meeting for lunch in John’s classroom or going outside to play soccer, basketball, or any number of their other shared sports interests. John quickly saw a new confidence in Luis. His schoolwork and social skills began to improve. When it came time for Luis to graduate from eighth grade at the end of the next year, John and Luis were determined to stay matched. John attended Luis’ middle school graduation party and was determined to offer Luis a dependable support system as he ventured into high school. 

John and Luis committed to Saturday morning breakfasts together, which has become their “thing” to this day. Sometimes, John brings his son, Sammy, to breakfast, and other times they meet just on their own to catch up or to talk. Luis has developed a deep respect for John and considers him to be an important person in his life.  

John is especially proud of Luis for who he has grown into. Luis spends his time with his family and friends, focusing on schoolwork, and playing sports. Luis chose to enter a program called Pathstone, which gives students the tools to become a member of trade work.

John shared, “Besides having a great impact on me, Luis has taught me some lessons as well. I think the biggest lessons are the need to be heard and the value of feeling listened to. I think that sometimes our youth don’t feel like they have a platform to voice ideas, and they definitely should. Our bond allows both of us to share things with each other, and it gives Luis the opportunity to express himself with me. Luis has a ‘Big Bro’ forever that will empower, ignite, and always defend him through this journey of life.”

Luis’ mom shared, “Since Luis has been involved with Mr. Wuzzardo at Big Brothers Big Sisters, I have seen progress in Luis’ behavior, he has many learning opportunities, and he has made many friends. Mr. Wuzzardo has taught Luis the importance of having a good support system.”

John “stepped up” five years ago when he learned that students in his school needed mentors, and he continues to have an impact on his students and community as a mentor, coach, and teacher. John supports BBBS’ mentoring programs in his school and encourages his co-workers to join him in the BBBS mission to empower, ignite and defend the potential of youth.  He continues to impact Luis and his family in an incredible way and leads by example in the community.  We proudly recognize John as our “Big Brother of the Year.”