Big Shoulders Fund is proud to share that Director and Co-Chair of the Chairmen’s Advisory Council Fred O’Connor were recognized by the Illinois Mentoring Partnership at their statewide recognition event to honor companies, organizations, and key individuals who are making a difference through mentoring. The event, “IMPACT: A Breakfast Honoring the Champions of Youth Mentoring,” was held at the Union League Club. Ernie, a Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids (PEAK) scholar at Big Shoulders Fund supported Holy Trinity High School and Fred O’Connor, his mentor, were recognized with the inaugural IMPACT Award. Big Shoulders Fund is proud of all its mentors and took the time to talk to Fred O’Connor about his rewarding experience as a mentor. How long have you been a mentor? I have been a mentor to Ernie for three years, he’s a junior now at Holy Trinity HS. Tell us your favorite thing about mentoring. Ernie is a very warm and easy-going young man. He has a great way about him, I liked him the first moment I met him. I know he is trying to improve himself and learn. He comes from a loving home and has faced challenges. Ernie’s attitude toward adversity is really inspiring as he shares a spiritual and positive outlook. Ernie is just a kid easy to root for. What make you committed to being a mentor? The sense that I am needed and having a positive impact. I especially like that others I know have been inspired to become mentors too.