Big Brothers Big Sisters of Florida unanimously selected Broward mentor and Fort Lauderdale attorney Chad Van Horn as the State of Florida Big of the Year. Van Horn, who was chosen from 15,000 mentors statewide, is now in contention for the National Big of the Year awarded by Big Brother Big Sisters of America. The national honor will be announced in April.
Van Horn has mentored Little Brother Desmond, 17, for the past four years as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward.
“Chad exemplifies all that it means to be a Big Brother,” said Ana Cedeño, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. “He cares so much for Desmond and gives more than 100 percent of his time and talent to ensure he succeeds.”
Van Horn and Desmond both lost their fathers at a young age, which immediately provided a foundation for a strong and steadfast relationship. They’ve had lots of fun – from tackling video games and racing go-karts to shooting hoops and hitting baseballs – as well as opportunities for Desmond to learn and grow into a strong young man. Van Horn taught Desmond the value of work by hiring him as an intern at his law firm. He helped him open up by always being available as a sounding board. He showed him the importance of education by encouraging him to do his best at school. And as Desmond transformed, so did Van Horn.
“I started my journey as a Big Brother to make a difference for a child, but in the end, Desmond changed my life,” said Van Horn. “I am proud to be a part of an organization that brought a sense of joy and fulfillment to my life by connecting me with Desmond, his mother, his younger brothers and all of the wonderful Big Brothers Big Sisters staff.”
Van Horn, who has served on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward’s board of directors for three years, is the founding partner of Van Horn Law Group, P.A., which helps individuals and businesses effectively navigate through bankruptcy and deal with the pressures of debt, foreclosure and loss. Van Horn’s firm also is proficient in handling business and real estate transactions, commercial and real estate litigation, loan modifications and landlord-tenant disputes. Van Horn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania. He went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center.
“Chad lives the mission of our organization and now, as Florida Big of the Year, will represent the thousands of men across the state who have chosen to make a difference in the life of a child,” said Cedeño. “We couldn’t be more proud of him.”
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. The organization partners with parents, guardians, volunteers and others in the community and holds itself accountable for each child in its program achieving: higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, educational success and avoidance of risky behaviors.