GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters got a sizable send-up by its national organization this week. Glens Falls-based Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks has been named Agency of the Year among the nonprofit’s small and midsize agencies.

The Glens Falls office serves a wide area with only five full-time employees. In 2022, the chapter served 463 children, with 200 on the waitlist. Chapter CEO Bill Moon anticipates that they’ll be able to serve 500 children this year, but the list of kids still in need stretches further.

“Small markets have a lot of innovation and we need to start harnessing and embracing that. These awards are a wonderful recognition of our staff and what we’ve been able to achieve,” said Moon. “Awards are great, but we’re looking to call more attention to the needs of our youth and to bring more volunteers and donors into the agency.”

The chapter and those like it connect youth in the area – “littles” by the program’s naming – with “bigs” who provide emotional support and partnership to kids who need it. The experience lasts a lifetime.

“The staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters is amazing,” said Kelsey Schermerhorn, who has served as a “big” for the last 11 years. “The program is life-changing.”

Schermerhorn has kept a strong relationship with her “little,” Amber Backus of Granville, since Backus was 7 years old. Now a high school graduate, Backus remains close to Schermerhorn. To this day, the two enjoy hiking, biking, and other activities together.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks is among more than 70% of Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, in fitting into the Small to Midsize Agency category. The agency also won a Gold Standard Award in honor of a continued uptick of children served year over year.