We are defenders of potential
Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.
That all youth achieve their full potential
Changing Perspectives. Changing Lives.
Partnering to build a world where all children meet their potential
Established in 1975, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region is the region’s premier evidenced-based youth mentoring agency—we make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”) in Westmoreland and Fayette counties. There are two program options available, Community-Based and School-Based, that are designed to help develop strong one-to-one relationships, and make a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young children
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
in 2020 big brothers big sisters of the laurel region was named National "agency of the year"
Want to learn more?
radio interview with our Executive Director about all things BBBSLR!
In touch WITH ERIC O'BRIEN podcast on bbbslr
Or check out this article from GOAL Magazine!
Cinda Watkins, Executive Director – BBBS of the Laurel Region, is proud to announce Cinda as our new Executive Director. Cinda brings nearly three decades of dynamic social service management experience serving in roles at Adelphoi Village, PA Adult Protective Services, PA Link to Aging and Disability Services, Response Training Programs LLC, and Torrance State Hospital. Most recently, she served United Way of Southwestern PA, overseeing 211 services for 31 counties within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while managing a $4.2M budget and staff of 50. She holds a BA in Psychology from Slippery Rock University. While at Slippery Rock she joined the Varsity Judo team, competing as a brown belt. She lives in Westmoreland County with her spouse, Don, and enjoys visits with her grown children, Madison and Nathan.
Cinda’s leadership centers on relationship-
TEEN/POST-SECONDARY MENTORING COORDINATOR
From Little Sister, to intern, to employee, Kathy knows the benefits of the program from her personal experience. She is not only a great ambassador for the mission, but also the perfect caseworker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Health from Seton Hill University where she was awarded
Behavioral Health Graduate of the Year. Kathy grew up and resides in Westmoreland County where she lives with her husband Kevin McCormick and dog Martin.
Fun Fact: Kathy can do headstands.
Tammy holds a degree in Criminal Justice from Westmoreland County Community College and has worked in the non-profit field for most of her career. She has years of experience in casework and a passion for learning and igniting potential. Tammy loves her yellow lab, Samson, and traveling.
Fun Fact: Tammy cannot do headstands.
Favorite childhood TV shows: MacGyver and The X-Files
FAYETTE COUNTY COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND MENTORING COORDINATOR
Brittany was born and raised in Uniontown, the heart of Fayette County, where she graduated from Laurel Highlands Highschool. She has always had a passion for working with children and positively impacting their lives. As a former YMCA preschool teacher and community volunteer for Relay for Life, she wanted to unite her interests by working for a nonprofit. In 2021, Brittany was nationally recognized as a Top Performer of her volunteer work with the Relay for Life, in which she now sits as a chairperson.
development and events coordinator
SCHOOL-BASED MENTORING COORDINATOR
Recognizing a need for emotional intelligence curricula, Brittany designed and adapted lessons that evaluate the impact of individual choices, collective discussion, and diverse perspectives to be used school-wide.
She then used these skills, along with a Diversity and Inclusion certification from Cornell University, to build belonging within communities as Welcoming Westmoreland Project Coordinator by creating and implementing trainings around unconscious bias and anti-oppression.
All of these experiences, along with her experience as a Big, culminate to her success at BBBS and her impact here as the School-Based Mentoring Coordinator.
Kody had found his passion for helping others while operating as a Patient Safety Associate for Excela Health, ensuring patients of all ages posed no threat to themselves or others, before joining Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region. He is the first of his family to attend a University and now holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. He spent his Senior year as an intern with our agency before becoming our newest team member after graduation. While he is a dedicated Latrobe native, he currently resides in Greensburg along with his Wife Madison and dog Nova.
Fun Fact: Kody rock climbs at a V8 level
Maddi is from Greensburg, PA, and holds a degree in journalism from Ohio University. After finding passion in community engagement, she completed a year of service through AmeriCorps. She coordinated health programs to promote food justice in Appalachia — specifically, she taught nutrition to second graders and assisted with food distribution in rural communities. She also has experience with youth workforce development. Maddi is passionate about involving people in their communities, especially when it comes to equity, inclusion, and serving children.
Maddi lives in Murrysville with her Fiancé, black cat, Oliver, and several struggling houseplants.
Lea has been in social services for most of her professional career working as a job developer to an admissions counselor to a recruiter. She has worked for such Westmoreland County employers such as PA CareerLink and Westmoreland Community College and is a graduate of Seton Hill. In addition to her skills in a variety of fields, she is also a licensed Real Estate agent. She is the mom to a daughter, Giana, and 2 cats. She enjoys baking and cooking in her downtime. She is excited to be part of such a wonderful and welcoming family.
Chief Cuddle Officer
Named after the canine crooner from Animal Crossing, KK provides lots of snuggles and kisses to help the staff through stressful situations. While he doesn’t show up for work everyday and spends most days napping, he has been rated Employee of the Month every month.
Major Cuddle Processor
Nova is mostly remote in our office, but when she stops in, she is everyone’s friend. Following in the paws of KK Slider, she strides to improve the well-being of the staff any way she can.
Fun Fact: Nova gives hugs when needed
President of Cuddles Research
Iggy Pup was adopted from All But Furgotten, a humane rescue in Irwin, PA. Now that he is in a loving home, he is learning how to trust humans. Shout out to the Green Beacon Gallery, Hempfield dog park, and Tastyland for providing spaces at which the pup can practice socializing.
Director of Cuddles
Samson stops in the office from time-to-time to check on the rest of the team and ensure they are at their best. Samson is known for his iconic wiggles when he see any team member, a sign they are doing a good job!
board of directors
PRESIDENT & Big Brother
VICE PRESIDENT & Big sister
Retired Accredo Health Group
Mary Beth Atwood,
Norwin School District
Secretary & Big Sister
West Virginia University Medicine
Retired Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
allegheny health network
GEorge m. dice
Independent Corporate Director
fIRST COMMONWEALTH BANK
Supervisor, Substation services
John Yetsconish Jr.
President - AGI Repair
bbbslr and The BBBSA National Office is committed to, believes in, and affirms justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) for our staff, board, volunteers, youth, and families we serve.