(Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted by Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central MN.)
Each year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota awards one scholarship in honor of BriAnna Kruzel, a former Little and High School Big who passed away unexpectedly in 2013.
The recipient of this year’s BriAnna Kruzel Memorial Scholarship is Abigail Diaz. Diaz has been a Little in the program for 11 years, and she graduates from Becker High School later this spring. She will be attending Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., for Mortuary Sciences.
As well as being a part of BBBS where she and her Big have participated in roadside cleanup events in St. Cloud, Diaz volunteers in her church nursery and helped with youth sports at her school.
“I have been a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters for most of my life, and it has blessed me with new experiences, opportunities, and the security that I can talk to someone who isn’t family,” she said. “The Big Brothers Big Sisters program has allowed me to learn about what it means to grow and influence those around me.”
The BriAnna Kruzel Memorial Scholarship is given in honor of BriAnna by her parents, Tami and Randy Kruzel, to keep her memory alive. BriAnna was active with BBBS, and was named the 2013 High School Big Sister of the Year for her commitment to the program and her Little Sister. She volunteered with Sartell Community Education, her church, and believed in loving each and every person she came across.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota currently has more than 100 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 to make a difference in the life of a child, please call (320) 253-1616 or visit BigDefenders.org/ways.