About Us

Mission Statement 

Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

Vision Statement 

All youth achieve their full potential

Accountability Statement 

By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers , and others in the community we are accountable for each child in our program achieving:

* Higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships

* Avoidance of risky behaviors

* Educational success

The Southern Lake Michigan Story

Big Brothers started as an interest group on the University of Notre Dame campus in 1968. Big Sisters began through a South Bend Concerned Women’s Group, led by Sylvia DeBoskey in 1969. Big Brothers Big Sisters merged locally in 1973 and secured funding through the United Way.

The agency bought its first offices in 1980 on Madison Street in South Bend to house staff and administrative records. In 1995, the first School Mentoring initiative began at Perley Elementary School in South Bend. We currently serve children in the PHM School District and have site-based programming in several South Bend after-school neighborhood Centers. The agency moved to a leased office space in downtown South Bend in 2006 to save on escalating building expenses associated with owning a large office building.

In January of 2020, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lower West Michigan (with offices in Niles, Michigan) merged with the St. Joseph County agency and one new partnership was formed: Big Brothers Big Sisters – Southern Lake Michigan Region.

Currently, hundreds of children are supported each year in our one-to-one Community and School Mentoring Programs.

Our Staff

CEO

Chief Executive Officer

Liz Stoutenour

Marketing & Special Events Manager

Katie Craft

Director of Programs

Angel Clements

Program Support Specialist

Debra Walker

Case Manager / Outreach Coordinator

2022 Board of Directors

TJ Jorgensen | Chairmen of the Board | TJ21 Media Group

Erin Lee* | 2nd Vice Chairwoman of the Board | Sanders Pianowski LLP

Casey Zitkus* | 2nd Board Treasurer | First State Bank

Brian Hake | Board Tresurer | Kruggel Lawton & Co, LLC

Sandra Pontius | Board Secretary | SJ Health System

Adrian Riley* | City of Elkhart Police Department

Alexandra Brown | Community Representative

Amelia Schroeder | Whirlpool Corporation

Brent Miller* | Everence Financial

Craig Blough* | Delaval Inc.

Curtis Gunter* | Forest River

Eric Becker | Whirlpool Corporation

George Bonin | Trutility LLC

Larry Sehy | Community Representative

Lynn Senter | Eaton

Michael Anthony | Golden Years Financial Advisors

Mike Steinau* | DJ Construction

Nathan Vogel | Inovateus Solar

Rebecca Ward | Community Rep

Robyn Minix | 1st Source Bank

Ryan Durham | Varonis Systems

Sarah Milovich | Carlton, Inc.

TD Ball | University of Notre Dame

T.J. Miller* | Crowe Horwath

Vickie Wagner | Community Representative

Willie Brown* | Heart City Health

* Indicates Board Member Representing Elkhart County