Saturday, June 23 , 2018, 2:02 pm | Overcast with Haze 67º


Lompoc’s Jon Vanderhoof Named Big Brother of the Year

Jon Vanderhoof accepting his Big Brother of the Year Award Click to view larger
Jon Vanderhoof accepting his Big Brother of the Year Award ((Big Brothers Big Sisters photo))

A surprise ceremony was held Jan. 27, 2016, at the Lompoc workplace of Big Brother Jon Vanderhoof, as he was named Santa Barbara County’s Big Brother of the Year. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a volunteer and donor supported program of Family Service Agency. January is National Mentoring Month, a nationwide initiative to bring awareness to the hundreds of Santa Barbara County’s vulnerable youth who are moving through life without the guide of an adult mentor. 

A volunteer mentor with the program since 2008, Vanderhoof has made significant contributions to his Little Brother Victor’s focus on his future goals, education and sports. 

Vanderhoof has also made lasting contributions to the program as a spokesperson and donor. He was nominated for the award by the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and voted Big Brother of the Year by the Advisory Council.

The dedicated Big Brother focuses on bringing more mentors into the program because “most of the kids in the program are living with single mothers and it takes men to usher these boys into manhood,” he said.  

Sarah Rudd, Big Brothers Big Sisters Program Manager, agrees.

“More than 65 percent of the children who are ready and waiting for a mentor are boys wanting Big Brothers, yet only 40 percent of our volunteers are men," Rudd said. "Our aim is to close this gap and offer a mentor to every child who wants a Big Brother.”

Little Brother Victor is thrilled that Vanderhoof is being honored.

“The day I met Jon, I knew he would be a good role model,” said Victor. “I have learned so much from him. He has helped me to be a better person and talks to me about goals all the time. He is considerate and puts me first.”

The surprise ceremony was held at Kingsway Financial Services in Lompoc. In attendance were the Kingsway team, including Managing Principal John Puscheck and Portfolio Administrator Warren Einolander, the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and Ellen Vanderhoof, Jon’s wife. 

A recognition plaque and flowers were delivered by Sarah Rudd, along with words of thanks from her and Little Brother Victor.

Big Brothers Big Sisters responds to the urgent needs of the community’s at-risk youth by offering powerful adult mentoring relationships for at-risk youth ages 6-18.

Ongoing match support for volunteers, children and their families helps mentoring matches last long and remain strong.

A public-private ventures study found that children enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs are more likely than their peers to perform well in school, behave non-violently, avoid illegal drugs and alcohol and have stronger family relationships. 

Locally in 2015, 86 percent of participating youth improved academic performance, 89 percent avoided delinquency, 87 percent improved their class participation and 81 percent reported a better attitude toward school. 

For more information, please visit or call 805.965.1001 x256.

Eve Fouratt is a development associate at Family Service Agency.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >