Chief of Police in Columbia Heights Scott Nadeau has been selected as a Minnesota Big Brother of the Year by the organization.
For 11 years, Nadeau has been an additional, caring adult in the lives of three Little Brothers: first Marcus, later Ernesto, and currently, Connor. Nadeau and Connor, a 7th grader, have been matched for three years.
When they were first matched, Connor was a shy 5th grader who was struggling in school with listening, engaging and following directions. Nadeau and Connor have since grown their relationship through playing Monopoly, discussing their shared love of the outdoors, hammering out homework, sharing book recommendations, and playing sports. Nadeau has helped to teach Connor the values that come from fixing mistakes and learning from them.
Nadeau’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities has impacted the lives of many, especially the youth in the city of Columbia Heights. When he began the role in 2008, he began work to strengthen the police department’s relationship with the youth in the community. He helped to organize the first “Summit on Youth,” which brought together community members, school and city officials, and other leaders to set priorities for youth development. The summit helped to launch a Big Brothers Big Sisters School-based mentoring program in 2012, which now has more than 30 matches, including more than half of the officers on the Columbia Heights Police Department.
In addition to his own role as a mentor, Nadeau regularly checks in with Big Brothers Big Sisters staff to keep tabs on the waiting list of ‘littles’ in his community and works to identify a caring adult mentor for each child who needs one. He exemplifies the best of mentoring – as a Big Brother, an advocate, a police officer, and a visionary community leader.
“As I tell my fellow Bigs – and my Littles—life is about connection. Just care. Be there. People don’t need advice as much as they need presence. Just show up.” said Nadeau.
Nadeau was recognized for his commitment to mentoring at a private dinner held in May at the Science Museum with all 2017 Bigs of the Year, their Littles, and BBBS CEO, Michael Goar, in attendance.