BankUnited Legacy Scholarship Fund Supporting
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward Presents First Awards

Five area students are the first to receive awards from the BankUnited Legacy Scholarship Fund, which was established last year as the first scholarship program designed for high school students enrolled in the mentoring program of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward, Inc. (BBBS)


Lorenzo Gari and Cameron O’Neal Ogbourne of Fort Lauderdale, Jessica Moore and Patrell Occeant of Miramar, and Luciana Ungaro of Pompano Beach received scholarships to pursue a labor market-ready degree or certification from area colleges, universities, technical and vocational schools.

“As Big Brothers Big Sisters ‘littles’ reach age 18, they graduate from the program that has played such an incredibly vital role in shaping their lives,” explains Mary Harris, BankUnited senior vice president of marketing and public relations. “Certainly, education is one of the major factors that will contribute to the success and happiness of their adult years and we hope to offer that bridge of support through the BankUnited Legacy Scholarship Fund.”

BankUnited committed a total of $20,000 over two years to establish the fund which also is supported by the BBBS Women on the Verge resource and fundraising group.

Women on the Verge founder Traci Miller, who is vice president of business development and marketing for Miller Construction Company in Fort Lauderdale, notes, “In just two short years, our more than 100 members from diverse backgrounds brought in more than $50,000 in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County and now we are donating the proceeds from all our events to the scholarship fund.”

High school students enrolled in BBBS of Broward’s program are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Selection is based on both merit and need, and recipients who continue to meet criteria will receive the scholarship throughout their enrollment in higher education.

Diana Hanford, account director at Pierson Grant Public Relations, was thrilled when her “little” Luciana Ungaro received a scholarship to use toward her education at Broward College. “I couldn’t be prouder of Luciana,” Hanford says. “She is such an amazing young woman who is so deserving of this honor and we are both extremely grateful for the BankUnited scholarship and for Big Brothers Big Sisters pairing us seven years ago.”

The BankUnited Legacy Scholarship Fund’s mission also includes mentoring and creating new volunteer opportunities to assist students transitioning from the BBBS program and to serve as a sounding board throughout their higher education years.


For more information about BBBS, visit or call

(954) 584-9990.
About BankUnited, N.A.

BankUnited, N.A., a national bank and wholly-owned subsidiary of BankUnited, Inc. (NYSE: BKU), is headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida with 99 branches in 15 Florida counties and 6 banking centers in the New York metropolitan area at June 30, 2014. Ranked 8th on Forbes Magazine’s list of “Best Banks in America 2013,” and one of the largest independent depository institutions headquartered in Florida by assets, BankUnited provides a wide range of commercial and consumer banking services. For additional information, call (877) 779-2265 or visit BankUnited can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @BankUnited.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County
Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey Report reinforces the mentoring program’s evidence base of positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 110-year history. With about 340 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families. The organization is engaged in a nationwide search to reunite with alumni mentors, mentees, donors, and family, staff and board members. Learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer at