15:54 PM

MetroHealth Employee Named Big Brother of the Year

Nearly a dozen years ago, Alonzo Blackwell stopped by an information table advertising the need for volunteers to join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland. He decided to answer the call. His dedication to helping young people has earned him the Greater Cleveland branch’s 2018 Big Brother of the Year Award.Alonzo, Manager of Health Information Management, earned the recognition based on a nomination and his extensive volunteer outreach. “Alonzo has been such a dedicated Big Brother and has made it his passion to share his wisdom, leadership and life experiences with everyone he connects with personally and professionally,” according to his nominator.Nearly three years, Alonzo was paired with his current “Little,” Donnell. They met when the boy was 11 years old. Since then, they have become fast friends. Donnell’s mother wanted him to be mentored so that he’d have a positive African-American male role model in his life, especially as he entered a critical time involving both school and life. “Alonzo and Donnell are more than just another match; they represent why mentorship is important within our community and will forever be brothers,” the nominator stated.Alonzo has mentored four “Littles” since joining the program. “I am walking in my purpose, which God has allowed me to do,” he says. His advice: “never forget to give back and look out for the young people who need guidance.”

In addition to being recognized by the organization, Alonzo received special recognition from the Ohio Senate. “The respect and admiration you have earned are clearly evident, and your accomplishments are a justifiable source of pride and an outstanding reflection not only on you but also on your family and community,” the recognition letter states. “You have distinguished yourself as a conscientious and hard-working Ohioan, and we are certain that you will continue to display the same unwavering commitment to excellence for which you have become known.”