BBBS is so excited to announce and publicly honor our 2022 BIG of the Year, Casey Wix! Casey has been the Big Sister for Little Brother Dakota since 2015—that’s SEVEN straight years of friendship, support & memories made! Casey & Dakota were first matched because Casey was interested in mentoring a young boy, after her own nephews moved out of state. She explains: “I felt that BBBS would be a good way to find someone else that enjoyed the same hobbies that I do (i.e., video games and bowling) while also being a positive role model for someone who might not have that in their life.”
At the age of 11, Dakota was quite introverted and shy; he was hesitant to communicate & unsure about trying new things. Casey had such a great way of encouraging him to step just beyond his comfort zone little by little. Here she describes in her own words: “If I suggested an outing [for us to do together] and he expressed disinterest, I would always ask had he done it before. If the answer was yes, then I would say okay and suggest something else. If the answer was no, I would say ‘well let’s try it once and if it isn’t any fun, we never have to do it again.’ I think, because of this, it has made us both more well-rounded people even if the end result [of an activity] was that we laughed about how much fun we didn’t have (like the time we played foot golf in a marsh).
“I think this philosophy is something Dakota will be able to continue using as he moves forward in life. For example, as he prepares to head off to college, he may be unsure about sharing a dorm with someone new; well, go ahead and try it and if you don’t like it, you can always live on your own next year.”
Because of the bond they built through fun, support, AND consistency, Dakota has become more social with adults and other kids his age, has grown in confidence and his willingness to take healthy risks by trying new experiences. The culmination of this journey has Dakota ready to graduate from Fond du Lac High School next month, and set to start college at UW-Oshkosh next fall. Through her guidance & positive influence, Casey has helped inspire, encourage & empower Dakota’s potential. She exemplifies everything one thinks of when it comes to an amazing “Big”! Our organization could not be prouder to recognize her as 2022 Big of the Year. Please plan to join us Thurs July 28th as we celebrate Casey & Dakota at “The Big Event” at the beautiful Hotel Retlaw in downtown Fond du Lac!
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County is a United Way Agency that assists children with social, emotional and character development through one-to-one mentoring relationships with caring adults. The agency matches children with a Big Brother, Sister, Couple or Family in a community or school-based program. Children aged 6 through 13 can enroll in the program through parent or guardian referral. For more information about the program or to volunteer, call 920-922-8200 or visit www.bbbsfdl.org.