With its high hopes and unrivaled support for local public education, La Cañada Flintridge is known as a community that cares deeply about its children.
Over the years, a number of La Cañadans who support L.A.’s Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program have quietly extended that concern to kids who haven’t had all the breaks.
Such willingness to make a positive impact on young lives is perhaps no better illustrated than by Vance “Mike” Trueblood, who was recently named National Big Brother of the Year from among approximately 170,000 volunteers for nearly 400 Big Brothers groups.
Trueblood, 81, is in his fourth year as a mentor and role model for 13-year-old Joseph, who came to the organization’s attention as a child who has faced the challenge of having a parent in prison.
The pair gets together every other Saturday for one thing or another — tennis lessons, museum visits, fishing trips, catching a matinee, reading and studying together, or just tossing a ball and talking about the future — all the while building the kind of relationship typically found among family.