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Big Brothers honors Norwich mentor

The John M. Clapp Outstanding Big Brother of the Year Award was endowed in 2014 by a generous donation from Alfred Rosa, then a senior executive at General Electric. Alfred was a Little Brother (mentee) in Nutmeg’s Big Brother Big Sisters Community-Based Program more than 30 years ago when he was growing up in West Hartford. His goal in establishing the award was to commemorate the wonderful relationship he had with his former Big Brother (adult mentor), John M. Clapp.

John Clapp, who’s now an Emeritus Professor at University of Connecticut’s School of Business, still stays in contact with Alfred.

The John M. Clapp Outstanding Big Brother of the Year Award has been presented each year to memorialize that great match relationship.

Each year the Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters recognizes five mentors who have gone above and beyond in the performance of their volunteer service.

This year, Norwich resident Sean Flynn is one of those five awardees.

Sean Flynn works at the University of Connecticut in Storrs as a senior designer and photographer in the Communications Department. For the last 4 1/2 years he’s been matched as a Big Brother (adult mentor) with a teenager from Norwich named Logan.

The match and Sean’s approach to mentoring is so consistently strong that Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters just named him as the 2021 recipient of the John M. Clapp Outstanding Big Brother of the Year Award.

Work and family life take up a lot of Sean’s time, but they don’t prevent him from doing what he can to help out in the community he loves. When he volunteered to be a Big Brother in the Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Program he was matched with Logan, who is now 16 and a student at Norwich Free Academy.

Pre-pandemic, they often went bowling, freshwater fishing, out to dinner, doing yard work, playing with Sean’s three dogs and just hanging out to talk.

Stopping off at Friendly’s for the occasional ice cream treat was another popular pastime.

Also pre-pandemic, Logan stated, “We traveled to New York twice to see a Yankees game and we traveled to New Hampshire to see the Ice Castles and then to see The Basin.”

With the onset of COVID-19, Sean and Logan usually found themselves getting together for indoor activities – often at Sean’s home while wearing masks and adhering to social distancing. They did lots of baking projects, non-explosive scientific experiments, and many meet-ups where they sat around talking about what was going on in their lives.

Sean stated, “We were in each other’s ‘pod’ and had limited contact with others.”

Regarding his Big Brother/Little Brother experience, Logan said, “I have absolutely loved the experience and I enjoy how we get along. He (Sean) has become a lifelong friend who I truly believe is a very nice person.”

Asked why he got involved with NBBBS, Flynn explained, “I wanted to make a difference in a child’s life. My wife and I decided not to have children, but wanted to help a child who didn’t have the stereotypical family unit of a Mother/Father upbringing.”

Flynn hopes that he has made a difference in Logan’s life. He continued, “He is a great person who has had a tough start in life, but doesn’t let it get him down. He’s become part of my family along with his grandmother.”

“I’m honored and happy to be involved with such a great organization,” Flynn said.

For more information about becoming a Nutmeg Big Brother Big Sister, contact Inquiry and Customer Service Team at program@nbbbs.org or call (860) 525-5437 Ext. 117.

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