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Gateway alum recognized for Big Brothers work in Florida

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 10:24 a.m.
Submitted
Big Brother Chad Van Horn with the young man he is mentoring, Desmond Mitchell, 17, at the game in Miami when the Dolphins played Pittsburgh last season.

A Gateway High School alum has been selected to represent Florida at the national level for his mentoring efforts in the Big Brothers program.

Chad Van Horn, a 2002 graduate, who is an attorney living in Fort Lauderdale, was crowned the state's “Big of the Year” by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Florida. Winning the state title puts Van Horn in a position to compete for National Big of the Year, which will be awarded in June.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a nationwide nonprofit that has been matching adults with children to mentor for more than 100 years.

Van Horn was chosen from 15,000 mentors statewide for his work in the program with Little Brother Desmond Mitchell, 17, for five years.

“This was set up as a kid looking for some guidance and a big looking to try to give back,” Van Horn said.

The lawyer said that he wanted to help kids get the kind of mentoring he received from his family — including mother, Debra of Shadyside — and close friends while he was growing up.

“Without these mentors, it would be impossible to have the successes that I have today,” he said.

Samson X Horne is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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