Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast Announces Their 2021 Bigs of the Year

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Big Brother John Barringer with Little Brother Lamar, courtesy of BBBSSun.

Bug Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast recently announced Ms. Ashley Tinker, (Highlands/Hardee County) and Mr. John Barringer, (Manatee County) have been selected as the 2021 Big Brother & Big Sister of the Year.  Ashley took on a caregiver role at a young age, and she had to make many adult decisions and assume adult responsibilities as a child. Ashley watched as her family struggled, and she learned at a young age the importance of becoming independent. Knowing that life can be tough, she wanted a child to know that she would be there for them.

Ja’Kenyalee said this about her Big Sister, “Ashley is a very caring person…I have never been around someone as nice as her.  She is always there to help me with my schoolwork, she helps me get the supplies I need for projects, and she always listen to me no matter if I am rambling on about my life at home or a problem that I am having.  Ashley helped me get my grades up by talking to teachers and having them send home extra work for us to do together.  We took it slower than we did in class and she was able to help me understand it better.”  

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, John never missed a visit with Lamar. John quickly switched gears and began meeting with Lamar virtually until it was safe to meet in person. John understood the mental impact that the pandemic was having on Lamar, so he also contacted his Little several times each week via phone and text.

“John has changed my life in a lot of ways; he’s done so much for me that it’s hard to put it into words. John is an actual Big Brother to me, not just, because that’s what he’s called because he’s my Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters, but because he IS my family and my real life Big Brother. He has been there since I was 6-years-old and has challenged me to accomplish my goals,” said, Little Brother Lamar. “I have never had a father figure, so having John in my life has made me happy. Because of John, I have someone to do boy stuff with, hang out with, and talk to about anything. John has changed my life for the better, and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.”

Pictured: Big Brother John Barringer with Little Brother Lamar, courtesy of BBBSSun.

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