UNDATED (WJON News) - Several local volunteers have been named as the Big Brothers Big Sisters state and local Bigs and Littles of the year.

Every year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota serves more than 500 kids in a five-county area. Officials say Bigs, or mentors, to youth in Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Morrison, and the northern tier of Wright counties. These mentors help their Littles – mentees – build self-confidence, self-esteem, a more positive outlook on their education, and become a friend to their Little; someone they can trust and enjoy spending time with.

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This year’s winners:

Central Minnesota Big Brother of the Year:

  • Bruce Latterell of Foley. Bruce has been paired with his little brother Keagan for the last six years.

Central Minnesota Big Sister of the Year:

  • Dani Lovejoy of Blaine. Lovejoy has been a big sister to Aaliyah for more than seven years.

Both will represent Minnesota at the National Mentor of the Year awards in Dallas this June.

Big Duo of the Year:

  • Father and son Gary and Cole Stang are the Big Duo of the Year after being matched with their Little Brother, Carter, for seven years.

High School Big Brother of the Year:

  • Foley student Terran Bursch is the High School Big Brother of the Year. Terran has been matched with little brother Gavin for two years.

High School Big Sister of the Year:

  • Allie Magarian is the High School Big Sister of the Year. Allie has been a big sister to Addison for two years.

Little Brother of the Year:

  • Carter – He’s been matched with Gary and Cole Stang for seven years.

Little Sister of the Year:

  • Aaliyah – She’s been matched with Dani Jovejoy for seven years.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota currently has more than 130 children waiting for a mentor, including children at all six school-based sites.

To learn more about the various mentorship options or to find out how you can make a difference in the life of a child, call (320) 253-1616 or visit BigDefenders.org/ways.

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