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West Hartford Resident Named Big Brother of the Year

Big Brother (adult mentor) Mike Isko (at right) and his Little Brother Trey getting ready to start another shift as certified ski instructors at the Mount Southington Ski Area in Plantsville. Courtesy photo

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Connecticut will honor West Hartford resident Mike Isko at its annual awards ceremony in May.


It’s been announced by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Connecticut that longtime West Hartford resident Mike Isko has been named the organization’s Big Brother of the Year for 2023. The prestigious award will be presented to Isko when he and four other honorees are celebrated at the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Year Awards event, scheduled for Thursday, May 4 at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford.

“Mike is totally deserving of this award,” said Tara Gill, director of Programs at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Connecticut. “He’s not only been a friend, sounding board and role model to his mentee for quite a long time, he’s also formed a strong relationship with his mentee’s entire family. Mike is an ideal example of how mentors can make a significant impact on young people.”

Mike, now retired, worked as an attorney in New Britain for many years. His Little Brother (mentee) Trey lives in New Britain. Mike first met Trey when he volunteered for a mentoring program sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association at Trey’s school. Trey was 11 at the time.

When the yearlong Bar Association program ended, Mike found he enjoyed the mentoring experience so much that he enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based program and brought Trey along with him. Now, six years later, Trey is 17 and he and Mike are still having Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring adventures together. One had to do with learning they both had a love for winter sports, which culminated in Mike and Trey becoming certified instructors at the Mount Southington Ski Area. Another adventure happened more recently and had to do with the long journey both traveled, which ultimately resulted in Trey being accepted at Norwich University – where he’ll be heading in the fall.

Mike takes scant credit for his Little Brother’s college acceptance, instead talking about Trey’s strong academic work over the years and Trey’s mom’s constant encouragement.

“Trey is such a wonderful young man,” Mike says. “My match with him has put somebody wonderful in my life. It’s given me a purpose other than self-indulgence.”

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