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

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

OUR TEAM


Stephanie Babich Mihleder

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Stephanie is an award-winning leader with a background in corporate philanthropy, project management, and client relations.
As a self-proclaimed musical theatre nerd/performer, she loves the opportunity to present this incredible and transformative program
to new audiences. She holds a variety of certifications in
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well Leadership and the field of Board of Directors and serves on the Board of the Fayette County Communities That Care as well as the Welcoming Westmoreland committee. In 2020 she was selected as one of the top 10 female non-profit leaders in Westmoreland County. 

Favorite childhood TV Show: Full House


Eric Gottschalk

PROGRAM MANAGER

For almost 20 years, Eric has dedicated his professional life to assisting at risk and underserved individuals.  Specializing in working with higher-risk and adjudicated youth, he maintains a passion to inspire and positively influence western Pennsylvania communities. He graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and a master’s degree in leadership and Professional Administration. His educational and professional backgrounds pair well with previous experience as a former Literacy AmeriCorps member and high school Lacrosse coach. Eric will provide enthusiastic leadership and a solid work ethic that will serve the organization for years to come.  

Fun Fact: In 2004, Eric was part of Baldwin High School’s Men’s Lacrosse conference championship coaching staff which was composed entirely of former teammates and alum.

 

 


Kathy McCormick

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. 

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.

 


Tammy Dolan

SCHOOL-BASED MENTORING COORDINATOR

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.


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 our newest team member after graduation. While he is a dedicated Latrobe native, he currently resides in Greensburg along with his fiancé Madison and dog Nova.

Fun Fact: Kody rock climbs at a V8 level


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.

board of directors

PRESIDENT & Big Brother

FRED HAAS,
MERRILL LYNCH

VICE PRESIDENT & Big sister

MICKEY LAW,
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

gabrielle skillings,
allegheny health network

CHUCK SHOFF,
SHOFF CONSTRUCTION

Big sister

Tracey McMahan,
Hi-Grade Shooters Supply

big brother

Jim McRickard,
Independent Corporate Director

ALLISHA ZEMAN,
fIRST COMMONWEALTH BANK

Doug Estok,
Supervisor, Substation services
First Energy

george m. dice,
nisource


bbbslr and The BBBSA National Office is committed to, believes in, and affirms justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) for our workforce, volunteers, and families we serve.