An El Dorado Hills woman has been recognized by Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Northern Sierra for her contributions and dedication to the non-profit organization. As part of Volunteer Appreciation Month, the organization recently hosted its annual celebration dinner in which it announced its “Bigs of the Year,” naming Michelle Petro of El Dorado Hills the Big Sister of the year.

“We are so grateful to our Big Brothers and Sisters who share their life experiences with the children in our community, the volunteers who offer their time and talents and, of course, the corporate sponsors, without whom we simply would not exist,” said BBBSNS Chief Executive Officer Brenda Frachiseur. “The appreciation dinner is our opportunity to thank those who give so generously throughout the year.”  


Petro and her Little Sister, Angel, have been matched for the last eight years. They meet weekly or biweekly, and while they will occasionally go on grand adventures, most of the time, good company is enough.

When talking with Petro, it is evident how much support and love there is for Angel. She said she sees Angel for who she is wholeheartedly and accepts her in a way that any person would be lucky to have. Petro has also grown close to her Little’s family over the years and is always available for Angel’s grandmother to lean on whenever she needs help — as she is doing her best to raise Angel and her sister.


Petro recounted how she had once received a call from Lisa in the middle of the night, asking her if she could help pick up Angel from sleep away camp. Petro didn’t bat an eyelash; she hopped out of bed, picked up Lisa and the two drove off into the night to go get their girl. Lisa knew she could count on Petro no matter what, and she was right.

Petro volunteers for BBBSNS in a variety of different ways and is a constant reminder: “We make time for what is important.” 


Upon asking Petro about her relationship with her Little Sister, she related, “Angel and I were matched as she entered second grade eight years ago. Recently, she is now 15 and in her sophomore year of high school. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her blossom into a beautiful young lady.


“I love that when she’s with me, she has permission to be a kid; we still nurture the little girl in her that still has some growing to do. There’s no outside pressure to do, or be, anything in particular— just freedom to be who she is and explore her interests,” she continued. “I love exposing her to new things whether that be new adventures in dining (the little girl who only ate chicken nuggets now requests Tom kha gai soup at Thai restaurants!), roller skating, skiing, kayaking, hiking in nature, interacting with animals, artistic pursuits, anything musical (symphony, concerts, theater), and even flying in a heli-plane with Young Eagles.”

In addition to the Big Sister of the Year honors, BBBSNS also recognized the Big Brother of the year, in which. Michael Flynn of Folsom was announced as the recipient. (see related Folsom Times story on Flynn here.)


While BBBSNS loves sharing positive stories of champion defenders of potential, the work is never done. According to a press release recently, the agency’s waitlist continues to grow with children who need more volunteers like Petro and Flynn. Currently, there are 64 kids waiting to be matched. 

If you know of anyone who would be a good Big Brother or Big Sister,  encourage them to check out the BBBSNS website or have them call the agency’s enrollment manager for more information (530) 626-1222. It takes only a few hours a week to change a child’s life for the better. 

BBBSNS has served the youth of El Dorado, Nevada and Placer Counties since 1977. For more information visit