A Landmark Partnership with Mercedes-Benz Canada



Every September, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) agencies across Canada celebrate BBBS Month. It serves as a platform highlighting and recognizing the agencies, volunteers, mentees, staff, and partners that make life-changing mentoring relationships possible to ignite the potential of young people.

During BBBS month, NYMAC accentuates our efforts to engage with regional agencies and the National office. It’s a time when we are reminded of how vast and interconnected the Federation is and the fantastic support we have from across the country. On September 19, some of our members had the privilege of attending Mercedes-Benz Canada (MBC)’s “Driving Your Future” event hosted in Vancouver. Taking place in advance of the 2023 Laver Cup, this event formally announced the exciting landmark multi-year partnership launching this month between Mercedes-Benz Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. One key element of the partnership is that MBC has made the commitment to also become the title sponsor of NYMAC. Woohoo!!!

Ashley Whiteman
NYMAC - David Awosoga

Written by Ashley Whiteman and David Awosoga

This partnership is monumental for NYMAC, as it helps us accelerate our three main objectives as a council:

  1. Engage in meaningful ambassadorship.
  2. Provide support to the National and regional Big Brothers Big Sisters offices.
  3. Mobilize partnerships.

In addition to the support provided to our objectives, this partnership will help amplify our voices, experiences, expertise, and passion for building stronger communities through meaningful mentorship. It grants us access to both physical and virtual spaces to connect with like-minded individuals and be further equipped with valuable skills and expertise. It really does instill a deep sense of confidence that the work that we do is significant and supported by an industry leader in innovation and philanthropy. Together, we are driving our future forward, and the journey has only just begun.


With regards to the event itself, words can’t begin to describe the electric atmosphere that enveloped the UBC tennis courts. Jill Zelmanovits, President and CEO of BBBSC gave incredible kick-off remarks to welcome the crowd that included Bigs and Littles from local Vancouver agencies. Next up we had Andreas Tetzloff, President and CEO of MBC. He emphasized the importance of having individuals who actively invest in your development and offer guidance during new situations or challenges that can make a big difference in one’s life. His words and reflection from Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz global chairman, couldn’t have echoed a more profound truth around mentorship. To take this event to the next level, we then had a surprise guest, international tennis sensation and Mercedes-Benz global ambassador Roger Federer, join us for a Q&A session led by NYMAC Co-chairs Ashley Whiteman and David Awosoga. Roger shared the pivotal role that mentorship played in his life, emphasizing that having the right people at the right time is instrumental in navigating life’s challenges, fostering personal growth, and achieving success. He stressed the importance of journeying through life alongside a mentor, taking care of your mental health and celebrating all your successes. Watching Roger interact with the Littles during the subsequent tennis clinic was incredibly heartwarming and ensured that all in attendance received a memory that would last them a lifetime. Plus, the swag was incredible!

In final reflection, as we embark on this exciting journey, let us carry the spirit of this remarkable event forward and remember that mentorship is not just a concept but an investment that is driving our world towards a better future. Together, we are driving our future forward, and the journey has only just begun.

To learn more about National Youth Mentoring Advisory Council (NYMAC) and the bright, passionate youth who serve on the council,
visit our NYMAC page.