We are defenders of potential

Our Mission

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

Our Vision

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

Educational success

Recipient of the 2021 Gold Standard Award

Recipient of the 2023 Growth Award

in 2020 big brothers big sisters of the laurel region was named National "agency of the year"

Want to learn more?

In touch WITH ERIC O'BRIEN podcast on bbbslr

OUR TEAM


Cinda Watkins

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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-building, training, and development. She looks forward to sharing her passion for youth mentoring to positively impact our community, helping to ensure all children can reach their full potential.


Kathy McCormick

COMMUNITY-BASED
MENTORING COORDINATOR

From Little Sister, to intern, to staff member, Kathy’s personal experience with the program has given her a unique perspective on the benefits it provides. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Health from Seton Hill University, where she was awarded Behavioral Health Graduate of the Year. Kathy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as Mentoring Coordinator. Born and raised in Westmoreland County, Kathy has deep roots in the community where she now resides with her husband, Kevin McCormick, and their beloved Russian Tortoise, Karl.

Fun Fact: Kathy enjoys period dramas with a strong female lead and can do headstands.


Tammy Dolan

PROGRAM MANAGER



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

britt headshot


Brittany Cooley

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.

Gabrielle Stewart

development and events coordinator

Gabrielle started her career in events over 16 years ago at BNY Mellon and transitioned to non-profit life in 2016. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in both Business Administration and French Language & Literature and enjoys expanding her education through Behavioral Economic coursework. As the chair of the New Business Committee for the Greensburg Business & Professional Association, Gabby works with local businesses to realize their full potential and opportunities in the growing community.
 
As a huge animal lover, Gabby fosters at-risk cats and kittens until they are healthy enough to be adopted to forever families. She has saved the lives of over 200 animals through her foster work in the past six years. She is pro-Oxford Comma and is a fantastic cook.

 


Brittany Sines

SCHOOL-BASED MENTORING COORDINATOR

After receiving her dual certification in Elementary and Special Education at Point Park University, Brittany was in the field of education for almost a decade, bringing equitable education to historically disenfranchised communities in the Pittsburgh area as an elementary school teacher.
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.
 
Fun fact – She is learning sign language


Kody Whitfield

RECRUITMENT SPECIALIST

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 a valued team member after graduation. While he is a dedicated Latrobe native, he currently resides in Greensburg with his wife Madison and dog Nova.

Fun Fact: Kody rock climbs at a V8 level


Madeline Butina

COMMUNITY-BASED
MENTORING COORDINATOR

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, Ben, black cat, Oliver, and several struggling houseplants.


KK Slider

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.

Nova Scotia

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


Iggy Pup

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. 


Samson

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!


Karl

Patrol Officer - Corporal

Karl is a nine-year-old Russian Tortoise, but she’s not from Russia. She’s originally from North Huntingdon. Karl does most of her work remotely as she has a strong dislike for cooler temperatures and the bypass tray. Karl enjoys sunning herself, aggressively attacking clovers in the yard and room-temperature baths. She dislikes people sneaking up on her and when her mom messes with her paws. 

 

board of directors

PRESIDENT & Big Brother

FRED HAAS,
MERRILL LYNCH

VICE PRESIDENT & Big sister

MICKEY LAW,
Retired Accredo Health Group

Big sister

Mary Beth Atwood,
Norwin School District

Secretary & Big Sister

Elise Glad,
West Virginia University Medicine

Treasurer

AL DEMARCHI,
HUNTINGDON BANK

Big Sister

ROSEANNE ORR,
Retired Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

big SISTER

Ashley Howes,
Fayette Chamber of COmmerce

2x Former Big Brother

John Yetsconish Jr.
President - AGI Repair

CHUCK SHOFF,
SHOFF CONSTRUCTION

Doug Estok,
Supervisor, Substation services
First Energy


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.