Brett W. Hoge
Brett Hoge, senior managing director with BB&T Scott & Stringfellow, received the Mentoring Excellence Award for his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters Services Inc. of Winston-Salem, N.C.
About 11 years ago, Mr. Hoge and his wife, Wendy, opened up the phone book to search for volunteer opportunities, and they landed at the local division of Big Brothers Big Sisters. They soon took on J.P., an 11-year-old boy, as their first “Little.”
“We started with J.P., who lost his dad at an early age, and he was very introverted and lacked self-confidence,” Mr. Hoge said in accepting the award at a ceremony in New York last month. “Now he's a junior in college and is going to graduate from college and be the first person in his family to do so.”
The Hoges, who still talk or text with J.P. every few weeks, have taken on two more boys. Each boy also lost his father. The Hoges said they help guide the boys toward a successful future by demonstrating that they care about them.
While they have been helping their three boys along, the Hoges also are raising their own daughters, who are now 6 and 9.
Mr. Hoge's work with Big Brothers Big Sisters goes beyond personal mentoring. He's served on their board of directors for nine years and raised about $115,000 for them, including some from his own clients.
Client meetings with Mr. Hoge almost always include a deep conversation about philanthropic giving, he said.
“People probably know me as much for Big Brothers Big Sisters as they do for managing money,” said Mr. Hoge, who was raised by a single mother. “I support their philanthropies and charities, and ultimately, I ask them to support me.”
The $20,000 award from the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation will allow Big Brothers Big Sisters to help even more children, Mr. Hoge said. One hundred nineteen kids in the county are on the program's waiting list today, which has a $750,000 annual budget and currently cares for about 500 kids.