Guam sailor recognized for mentoring 'little brother'
HAGATNA, Guam – Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW/SW) Rafael Hughes-Batalla was named the 2014 Big Brother of the Year by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guam during a ceremony at the Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex in Hagatna Feb. 10.
The Sailor, assigned to Commander, Fleet Air Forward Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Detachment Guam, was recognized by the organization for his exceptional service in the role of a volunteer mentor.
“I am extremely honored because this opportunity will bring honor to my brothers in the military,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to contribute to [Guam] and it provides an awesome opportunity to be a role model in every way possible.”
Hughes-Batalla has been a big brother and mentor to his little brother Ethan for a year and said he joined the organization as a way to be proactive within the community. As a big brother, he finds different types of activities to participate in with his little brother, including coastal cleanups, hiking, swimming and visits to various museums on island.
“Rafael has been such a great big brother to his little brother Ethan in terms of coming up with activities that are fun, that are engaging, that really play up to Ethan’s interests,” said Vanessa Estella, the organization’s executive director. “He communicates very easily with his little brother and has a great relationship with Ethan’s mom, and all those things really contribute to a successful match.”
Hughes-Batalla thanked Ethan and his mother for the opportunity to mentor him for the past year and called his fellow Sailors to take part in community organizations as it helps build and foster relationships with the local community.
“I highly encourage all military members here in Guam and back stateside to learn about the organization,” he said. ”There are kids just waiting for somebody to be a mentor. It’s very rewarding, beneficial and it’s good. I love it.”