This article was previously published and is being featured as one of many of our top stories for 2023.
By Rachael Nestel
A Coconut Creek Police detective has won a county-wide competition for being an exemplary mentor to a local child.
Out of 1,000 mentors, Detective Larry Scates of Coconut Creek was honored with Broward County’s “Big Brother of the Year” award. This program provides mentorship to young children in the community. Trusted adults spend time with them, teach them essential social skills, and participate in fun activities together.
Scates was first matched with Elijah when he joined Bigs in Blue, a one-to-one mentoring program that connects youth with local law enforcement officers. Impressively, Scates and Elijah were the very first match in the organization.
According to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County website, the two have spent a lot of time together playing mini-golf, fishing, and attending various events ever since. Scates also teaches Elijah how to make better choices while serving as a positive role model.
At the height of the pandemic, Scates assisted Elijah and his family when they experienced financial hardship and directed them to various resources to help them get back on track. Elijah’s mother said Scates has been a positive mentor for Elijah and their entire family, always going above and beyond to ensure they are doing well.
A Florida native, Scates has served on the Coconut Creek police force for over 17 years. Scates, as well as other Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County mentors, were honored for their exemplary mentorship in the Big Thank You Breakfast sponsored by Publix at the Signature Grand.